3) Caden Sterns, safety
Caden Sterns, the former Texas product, has felt like he was on the verge of a breakout for a few years now. However, a hip injury in 2022 kept him from a starting job, and he now faces his first year as a likely starter with veteran Kareem Jackson behind him on the depth chart.
However, Sterns is entering the third year of his contract and has yet to prove himself as a worthwhile NFL starter. If he can not do so in 2023, the Broncos likely look for a starting safety to head into 2024 with, and Sterns's days in Denver would be numbered.
A strong 2023 would set Sterns apart from the likes of Jackson and JL Skinner as the Broncos starting safety, and might even land him a new contract. The variance in 2023 for Sterns is likely as large as any other Bronco.
A strong year likely makes him their future starter with a chance at a new contract in the spring, while a weak year likely sees him in a backup role to either Skinner or Jackson and potentially looking for a new home in the not-too-far future. Sterns is in his third year, but with no meaningful steps forward taken, 2023 is starting to feel like a make-or-break year for the 23-year-old.