Bleacher Report predicts that this young Broncos player will shine in the preseason

Will the Denver Broncos' 2022 second-round pick have a bounce-back season?

New York Jets v Denver Broncos
New York Jets v Denver Broncos / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

With the full preseason slate set to get underway this week, Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report recently wrote an article talking about seven NFL players he expects to become stars this preseason.

The list is impressive and includes five rookies selected in this year's draft, including quarterbacks Bryce Young and Anthony Richardson. One of the more surprising names on his list is a member of the Broncos, last year's second-round pick Nik Bonitto.

Bonitto was taken with the No. 64 overall pick in last year's draft and the Broncos expected him to become a quick addition to their pass-rushing group. But he was slow to develop and instead, saw action on just 31 percent of the team's defensive snaps while also being used a bit on special teams.

He saw more action following the November trade of Bradley Chubb, but he never became much of a factor, totaling just 14 tackles and 1.5 sacks on the season with one forced fumble. The team hopes those numbers greatly increase in 2023, and Moton apparently believes that they will.

Bonitto stated that he lacked confidence in his rookie season and expects that to change this year. Perhaps it was a case of rookie jitters, but the Broncos are going to need much more out of him in year two.

The team has Randy Gregory, Baron Browning and Frank Clark as its top pass-rushers and on paper, that is a good group. But Gregory played in just six games last season, Browning had arthroscopic knee surgery this offseason and Clark recently turned 30 years old.

The Broncos need to rely on Bonitto to do some heavy lifting and another slow start could be quite detrimental to his future, at least in Denver.

I have him marked as a player who needs to have a big preseason debut. Let's hope that the prediction made by Moton leads into just that on Friday night against the Arizona Cardinals.