Will we see more of the Denver Broncos’ stellar rookie class in the 2021 season? Which players have a chance to make contributions down the stretch?
The Denver Broncos’ 2021 rookie class has been absolutely outstanding up to this point in the 2021 NFL season.
First-round pick Pat Surtain II is playing like a top-10 corner in all of football already and is coming off of a massive game against the Los Angeles Chargers in which he picked off two passes and took one to the house for six.
Second-round pick Javonte Williams has been picking up steam in recent weeks and has made big plays all throughout the season.
How soon will we see more of the Broncos’ 2021 rookie class?
Third-round picks Quinn Meinerz (offensive guard) and Baron Browning (linebacker) have stepped into the starting lineup over the last month and have been absolutely outstanding.
Fifth-round pick Caden Sterns has a pair of interceptions, played well in a spot start for the injured Kareem Jackson, and has generally been one of the best playmakers on the Denver Broncos defense on a per-snap basis this season.
Seventh-round pick Jonathon Cooper’s role has increased significantly since Von Miller got injured/traded, and his effort as a pass rusher along with his strength and ability to set the edge have been welcomed additions to the rotation.
Even Kary Vincent Jr., another seventh-round pick from George Paton’s first draft class as general manager of the team, brought the team back a 2022 sixth-round pick after making no on-field contributions at all in the first half of the season.
So who is left?
Fifth-round pick Jamar Johnson is a safety who is buried on the depth chart right now, but the Broncos obviously like him a lot going forward at the position.
Considering PJ Locke has virtually been a special teams-only type of player, it stands to reason that if the Broncos were to have some injuries at the safety position, Johnson could get called upon for action, but for right now, he’s effectively redshirting. It feels like he might be one of the least likely of the 2021 NFL Draft class to get a shot at snaps for the remainder of the season, but we’ll see.
Sixth-round pick Seth Williams, a wide receiver out of Auburn, would be an intriguing player for the Broncos to give a shot as the regular season winds down.
They have been protecting him on the practice squad almost on a weekly basis, so you have to think that a call-up is coming at some point and if/when it does, Williams should get a shot to actually play.
Seventh-round pick Marquiss Spencer, a defensive tackle out of Mississippi State, is probably the least likely to be seen on the field in the 2021 regular season.
The Broncos have McTelvin Agim on the active roster who is already in need of more snaps in the rotation, and Jonathan Harris is another guy who has been called up from the practice squad to provide depth on an as-needed basis.
We should see Spencer get a shot to compete in 2022 training camp for a spot in the defensive line rotation, however.
It would not be overly disappointing if we didn’t see any of these players for the remainder of the 2021 season, but it would be fun to get a chance to see Jamar Johnson in Caden Sterns’ role as the dime linebacker with Sterns playing back with Justin Simmons.
It would also be a lot of fun to see Seth Williams get some chances to show off his downfield ability as a receiver.
The Denver Broncos got a huge victory at home coming out of the bye week over the Los Angeles Chargers. Who stood out in this game whether good or bad?
Time will tell if these players get any opportunities. Even without contributions from them, however, the Broncos’ 2021 rookie class has been arguably the best and most productive in the NFL.