2. Nik Bonitto, edge defender (no. 42)
Nik Bonitto desperately needed to have a big training camp for the Broncos in 2023, and he's had it. The former second-round pick out of Oklahoma has made a huge impact throughout the course of training camp, seemingly breaking out at the best possible time.
When everyone at the EDGE position is healthy, Bonitto is probably the fifth guy in line behind Frank Clark, Randy Gregory, Baron Browning, and Jonathon Cooper. But that doesn't really matter. It looks like at least the top five guys at this position group are going to play this coming season in some way, shape, or form.
Yes, injuries happen. And this group has already been pretty substantially impacted by injury. Baron Browning -- a projected starter -- is currently unavailable due to an arthroscopic procedure on his knee. We're not exactly sure when he will be ready to go, but Bonitto has stepped up in the absence of Browning.
And he will be a player in focus for this first preseason game. We need to see Bonitto not only flying around the edge and making an impact as a pass rusher, but we need to see him stuffing the run, maybe playing some special teams, and really just proving overall that he's ready to make a regular season impact by dominating the Cardinals' reserve offensive linemen.
Or whoever they trot out there at the beginning of this game.