Denver Broncos 10 breakout players for 2023 season

- Breakout receiver?

- Tight end emerging?

- Pass rusher and safety breakout looming?

Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers
Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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1. Brandon Johnson, wide receiver

Although he may not be the highest-profile breakout candidate on the team, Brandon Johnson is a really fascinating young player for the Denver Broncos. He was an undrafted free agent out of Central Florida in 2022 and would have made the team last year if not for a high-ankle sprain suffered in the preseason finale.

The Broncos are currently carrying just four wide receivers on their 53-man roster including Johnson, who had seemingly ascended into the WR3 role quickly following Tim Patrick's Achilles injury. Injuries are unfortunate, but they also pave the way for guys like Johnson to find their way into more snaps.

And Johnson has obviously been very impressive. For the coaching staff from last year to be gutted and Johnson still be entering the season as WR3 (possibly WR2 for a week if Jeudy is unable to play Week 1 against the Raiders) is extremely impressive. Johnson has gotten a ton of attention due to the fact that his father was a World Series Champion, All-Star, Gold Glove catcher in Major League Baseball. He's received attention for the fact that he was recruited in college by former Broncos WR coach Zach Azzanni. But we only recently learned that he's the cousin of former NFL star wide receiver Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson.

It seems as though there's much more than meets the eye with this former four-star recruit with incredible athletic bloodlines. He was a high school teammate of Pat Surtain II where they were coached by former NFL players Mike Rumph and Pat Surtain Sr. He has shown in his short time with the Broncos, so far, that he has strong hands, some explosiveness, and playmaking abilities.

Although it's not an ideal roster situation, perhaps we'll find out quickly that the Broncos were justified in putting faith in young Brandon Johnson on their depth chart.