Denver Broncos: 4 most overlooked players heading into 2021

Denver Broncos - Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos - Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mike Purcell
Sep 14, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos nose tackle Mike Purcell (98) in the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Mike Purcell

Mike Purcell is always going to be the definition of an unsung hero. He is never going to fill up the stat sheet or do anything particularly flashy, but his role on defense is a big one.

Purcell is a great run defender and a guy who clogs up the middle quite well. When he’s not on the field, his absence is a glaring one. Unfortunately, that has been a  bit too often as he has missed time in both of his seasons in Denver, including playing in just six games last season.

Purcell came to Denver in 2019 as a favorite of Vic Fangio from their time together with the San  Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears. At first, it seemed like another run-of-the-mill signing, but Purcell has become a key piece of the defensive unit due to his fit and knowledge of Fangio’s defensive scheme.

Purcell definitely needs to stay healthy this coming year and if he can, he can help Denver have one of the league’s better run defenses. In addition, he can do enough to muddy the waters up front so guys like Miller Chubb and Alexander Johnson can come up and make some plays from the linebacker position.

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Purcell is an easily forgotten guy, but he does the stuff that doesn’t get noticed in the box score and he does it well.