Denver Broncos 2021 schedule: Predicting where rookies break out

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Javonte Williams. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Javonte Williams. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Denver Broncos, Caden Sterns
Denver Broncos rookie safety Caden Sterns. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Caden Sterns & Jamar Johnson – Week 15 vs. Bengals

The Denver Broncos struggled with safety depth in 2020. While they did have Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson, there was little help behind them. John Elway did go out and bring back Will Parks off of waivers, but the signing made little impact on the defense’s success.

After seeing this issue, George Paton went out and picked not one, but two safeties in the draft. Both Sterns and Johnson provide immense upside if developed properly under Ed Donatell. Both of them are very instinctive with a detailed understanding of the space around them. Both can also mirror moves on the dot by a wide receiver and make the necessary tackle.

All of these advantageous skills could be seen in the spotlight versus the Cincinnati Bengals. The former number one overall pick Joe Burrow is going to be under a lot of pressure from the strong Broncos defensive line. With both Von Miller and Bradley Chubb coming from both sides as well, Burrow is going to be forced to throw the ball. A lot.

With that being said, there’s a good chance both Johnson and Sterns get a good chunk of minutes. Simmons and Jackson are going to need rest, paving the way for the two rookies to step in and play ball hawk.

The cornerback corps, if all goes well, should have the young Bengals receivers under wraps. This leaves Burrow to scramble and look for other options on the fly. When he does so, Johnson or Sterns can attack the ball for a potential interception. This combination could be lethal, but once again, it all depends on the play of both the defensive line and the cornerbacks.

George Paton and the Denver Broncos have already received praise for their draft class from around the league. Now that the schedule is officially set, it is up to the rookies to step up and turn their potential into success.