5. Caden Sterns, safety
One player the Denver Broncos are praying stays healthy in 2023 is young safety Caden Sterns. Sterns was a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft but the former five-star recruit out of Texas was simply held back by injuries in college. Unfortunately, that has also been the case in the NFL.
He looked like he was well on his way to a breakout season in 2022 but suffered a hip injury that kept him out of action. Despite only playing just five games, Sterns had a pair of interceptions and four passes defensed last season. We saw his big-time potential as a rookie as well with 2 INTs, 2.0 sacks, and 5 passes defensed despite limited snaps.
In just 586 career defensive snaps, Sterns has four career interceptions and nine passes defensed. He is a playmaker on the back end of the defense, there is no doubt about it. With multiple interceptions in each of his first two NFL seasons, everyone expects the ball-hawking Sterns to only have that production amplified now that he is expected to take the lion's share of snaps alongside Justin Simmons in that defensive backfield.
And a breakout from Sterns couldn't possibly be coming at a better time. The Broncos need to create more turnovers in 2023 and they need someone other than Justin Simmons causing teams fits. If Sterns can have a breakthrough season, this Denver Broncos secondary might emerge as the most dominant in football.