3 Broncos veterans who could lose their starting job to a rookie

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Denver Broncos veteran no. 2 on notice: Josey Jewell, LB

One of the best starters on last year's defense was veteran linebacker Josey Jewell, but entering the 2023 season, I think it's fair to say that Josey will need to be looking over his shoulder just a little bit.

The Denver Broncos used a third-round pick on Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders, and although Sanders is still somewhat raw, I think the expectation should obviously be that he will be playing sooner rather than later. We've discussed this previously, but it bears repeating, the writing seems to be on the wall for Josey Jewell. It wouldn't be shocking at all to see him traded before the start of the 2023 season.


Well, the first reason is obviously the presence of third-rounder Drew Sanders. As raw as Sanders is, early reviews have been impressive and Sanders is a unique type of player at the linebacker position. The Broncos will almost undoubtedly be spending a lot of time in nickel and dime defense, and they've recently re-signed Alex Singleton to a three-year defense.

Doesn't it make sense that Singleton would take over as the primary defensive play-caller, and the Broncos could rotate guys like Drew Sanders, Jonas Griffith, and some of their defensive backs? Josey Jewell being in a contract year makes this kind of a scenario much more plausible. The Broncos could have Jonas Griffith "starting" in 2023 and really expedite the development of Sanders, getting him on the field more.

When you look at this year's draft class, I think the most obvious position logjam created was at linebacker after the selection of Drew Sanders. The question is, why did the Broncos create that logjam in the first place, and what do they plan on doing to make sure they get these guys on the field and maximize value?