4 Denver Broncos players who could have unique roles in Week 1

- A rookie rushing the QB?

- A surprise two-way player?

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4. Jaleel McLaughlin, running back

The last player that I think we can expect to play a rather unique role is Jaleel McLaughlin. Now, this isn't to say he's going to be playing on defense or anything crazy like that, but Sean Payton stated on Wednesday that McLaughlin is the one back on the active roster who really adds a "wrinkle" to the position group.

McLaughlin offers the Broncos a speedy back who can contribute in the running game, the passing game, or in the return game. I don't know how often we're going to see him on the field -- maybe just a handful of snaps -- but I do expect to see him featured for a few plays.

Not to be hyperbolic, but could there be a Darren Sproles-like role for McLaughlin in the future? Or in Week 1?

I don't think that's out of the question. It's going to be tough for the Broncos not to add this "wrinkle" into the offense every so often, given how stylistically similar Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine are. That's not to say they are redundant or can't be effective as a 1-2 punch, but adding the dynamic element of speed with McLaughlin gives you the chance to run some unique two-back sets, use McLaughlin as a decoy to perhaps set up opportunities for others, and more.


For instance -- think of where the Raiders' attention would be drawn with McLaughlin on the field. The Broncos set up a screen to McLaughlin, only to juke the Raiders and throw a screen the other direction to the tight end.

His role in Week 1 will be unique, and worth monitoring closely.

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