The Denver Broncos have been going at it in training camp for seven practices at this point, and players have started to stack days. Some of it has been expected, but some unexpected players are starting to turn heads.
We've been discussing undrafted free agent rookie running back Jaleel McLaughlin at length at this point, and his name certainly bears monitoring going forward, but McLaughlin has already gotten a lot of publicity. There are other players that maybe came into camp as "forgotten" players or just underrated in general.
Which players have been surprise standouts for the Denver Broncos so far in 2023? Let's take a look at five who have been making waves.
1. Ben DiNucci, quarterback
Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton may have joked about Ben DiNucci after he threw an interception in front of owner/CEO Greg Penner, but DiNucci has actually impressed since coming up to the NFL from the XFL on a tryout basis. Here's what Payton had to say near the start of training camp about what he likes about DiNucci so far:
"I think the one thing is—we talked about it in the meeting. His ability to get in the huddle, out of the huddle, execute the play, get to the right receiver, and distribute the ball. [There is] nothing really flashy. He’s a good decision-maker, and he’s pretty accurate. You know exactly what you’re getting, and his decisions and football IQ are really strong. Those are some things that sometimes you can’t appreciate until you have a preseason game, and you have a young quarterback and the clock’s ticking. There’s a calmness, a demeanor, and a little bit more experience with him—although he’s still young. I do see the arm talent and the athleticism, so [he is] someone we want to work with."- Sean Payton (via Broncos PR)
Nobody endears themselves to a third-string quarterback as quickly and as passionately as Broncos Country, and DiNucci will likely become a fan favorite over the course of training camp. You may even have some fans clamoring for him if Russell Wilson struggles.
All kidding aside, DiNucci seems to have made an impression throughout the offseason and has made some standout throws early in training camp.