Denver Broncos training camp is well underway at this point with the team having two "ramp-up" or "acclimation" practices in the middle of last week before opening up practice to fans on Friday. Since last Wednesday, the Broncos have had six total practices, two of which have been in pads (at the time of this writing). It's important not to make any rush judgments at this point especially because game settings can change everything.
It's also important to note that it's not uncommon for defenses to have the upper hand early on in training camps as offenses adjust their timing and work certain concepts. That's not meant to be an excuse, it's just generally how things go sometimes.
With that being said, we're going to look at three "winners" and two "losers" from the first seven days of camp, even though I hate using that terminology. You can call these guys winners and losers, risers and fallers, standouts and those who have struggled -- I don't care what verbiage you prefer to use, but this is what I'm gleaning from all of the reports coming out of Denver Broncos training camp.
3 winners, 2 losers from first week of Denver Broncos training camp
1. Justin Simmons & Caden Sterns big winners so far
Over the course of the first week of training camp, it really sounds like safeties Justin Simmons and Caden Sterns have come up with some of the biggest plays of training camp already.
In the first two padded practices (Monday and Tuesday), Simmons had interceptions off of Russell Wilson. Simmons appears to be in midseason form already as he picked off six passes a season ago (in just 12 games) and forced a total of 10 turnovers for the Denver Broncos defense.
We all know what Simmons brings to the table but what about Caden Sterns? The third-year safety and former fifth-round pick out of Texas apparently made a slick one-handed interception (off of a Justin Simmons deflection) for what has been described, up to this point, as the most impressive play of training camp.
Sterns has a chance to solidify himself as a starter in 2023 and he mentioned in a post-practice interview that he feels the Broncos have "four" starting-caliber safeties with himself, Simmons, Kareem Jackson, and PJ Locke. Sterns dealt with a hip injury that kept him out most of last season, but if he and Justin Simmons are able to stay healthy, they might combine for 10 or more INTs this coming season.