Denver Broncos veteran no. 3 on notice: Damarri Mathis, CB
Okay, it's a bit of a stretch to call Damarri Mathis a "veteran", but he fits the description of "incumbent" at the very least. He's a 2022 starter who has been put on notice by a 2023 NFL Draft pick, and that draft pick is none other than Riley Moss, the cornerback out of Iowa.
The Denver Broncos traded a 2024 3rd-round pick to move up and draft Moss, certainly a controversial move at the time that it was made but a necessary move considering the Broncos' cornerback room prior to that selection being made.
First, let's talk about Damarri Mathis' rookie season. He experienced the same types of ups and downs you will typically see from a rookie, but I think his progression as a fourth-round pick was especially impressive. We saw Mathis entrench himself as a starter, and likely become a future starter, while learning on the fly.
When you consider how strong his rookie season was overall, it's hard to imagine Damarri Mathis getting his starting job taken in 2023. At the same time, growth is not always linear in the NFL. Not every player just immediately gets better year over year. Mathis is going to have to fend off some really strong roster competition now with Riley Moss joining the fray.
Coming from Phil Parker's defense at Iowa, Moss is going to be technically sound as a rookie. He undoubtedly brings confidence to the table and is extremely competitive at the catch point. He's a playmaker and a ball-hawk. There's no question that he can start as a rookie, which is why I think Damarri Mathis is one of those "veterans" that has been officially put on notice by a rookie in this particular class.