The Denver Broncos had their struggles in the pass defense department against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1. Second-year player Damarri Mathis had a particularly poor game in coverage while the Broncos allowed Jimmy Garoppolo to go 20-of-26 passing and basically have his way.
The pass rush was partly to blame, but the coverage wasn't good enough either, and reinforcements could be on the way. Specifically, Week 2 might be the debut of rookie cornerback Riley Moss, the Denver Broncos third-round pick out of Iowa. Moss has been out since early in training camp with a core muscle/abdomen injury, but he's now practicing in full ahead of the team's matchup with the Washington Commanders.
The Broncos traded up in the third round to get Moss, and not only did they trade up for him, but they traded a future third-round pick to make the deal happen. That particular trade didn't sit well with a lot of fans for a couple of reasons. FIrst of all, they made the trade with the Seattle Seahawks. Second of all, they traded future draft capital when that has been so precious in recent years.
In other words, fans are expecting Riley Moss to be really good. And that's exactly what he was at Iowa. It's unclear what his role will be with the Denver Broncos beyond playing special teams, but Moss was an outside corner at Iowa and a really good one. He consistently made plays on the ball in coverage and the Denver Broncos could obviously use some of that.
I'm not sure if we'll see him in the nickel or dime package initially, but if Damarri Mathis continues to struggle, maybe we see him get a shot out there as well. There's no doubt about his position, however. Sean Payton made it very clear when he was drafted that Moss is a corner, and not a safety like many thought he might be transitioning from college to the NFL.
The Broncos might be able to utilize Moss's athleticism to their advantage, especially with so many injuries right now in the defensive backfield. Not that he will play safety early on, but his athleticism could be extremely valuable when the Broncos go with heavy defensive back personnel groupings. He will likely be eased into the mix but perhaps we'll get our first look at Moss here in Week 2 as the Denver Broncos play host to the Washington Commanders.