4 underrated, important role players on Denver Broncos in 2023

There are some important but underrated role players all throughout the Denver Broncos roster. We take a look at four, including CB Essang Bassey.
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The Denver Broncos have significantly improved their roster in the 2023 offseason after winning just five games last year. When you add in the fact that Sean Payton and his staff are now in charge of the player development on the roster, you can't help but be even more excited about the upcoming year. Even though the Broncos have the second-longest playoff drought in the league behind the New York Jets, optimism is brimming in Broncos Country.

Tempered optimism, of course, but optimism nevertheless.

The roster is full of players with huge expectations going into next season, but what about underrated role players? There are some players who just won't get a ton of due credit because they don't play 80 percent of the snaps, but these guys will suit up on gamedays and make a significant contribution in 2023.

Let's take a look at four.

4 important role players on the Denver Broncos roster in 2023

1. Essang Bassey, CB

Although he doesn't get that much recognition, Essang Bassey has actually developed into quite a valuable piece of the Denver Broncos' secondary and special teams since he came into the league as an undrafted free agent back in 2020. Bassey was considered one of the best slot corners in college football while he was at Wake Forest, and he wound up cracking the roster and playing almost 400 defensive snaps his rookie year back in 2020.

That was pretty significant, considering Bassey was playing for Vic Fangio, who is certainly not just going to throw anyone out there.

After playing only two games in 2021 and floating between the Broncos and Chargers, Bassey returned in 2022 to play his most significant role yet for the team, amassing 473 total snaps -- 252 on special teams and 221 on defense.

Among those 221 defensive snaps, Bassey didn't allow a single touchdown in coverage. Although Pro Football Focus' grades are highly contested, what can't really be disputed is passer rating into a player's coverage. In that particular category, Bassey was one of the best in the NFL.

"Bassey did not allow a touchdown from a slot alignment, and his 15.8 snaps per reception ranked first among the qualified corners. Although he isn’t a projected starter, he has proven to be a more-than-solid rotational piece in the secondary and a plus player in special teams."

Pro Football Focus

Things could be looking up for Bassey, who is part of a young group of corners on the Denver Broncos' roster. He has developed nicely for DBs coach Christian Parker, and looks like he might be a fixture for this team after getting re-signed yet again in the 2023 offseason.