The Denver Broncos have two of the best slot cornerbacks in the NFL in passer rating allowed. This is a very favorable statistic for the team heading into the 2023 season. It seems like, at this point, the Broncos have had an elite secondary for a decade now.
That doesn't appear to be changing for the 2023 season, either. PFF ranked the top 10 slot cornerbacks in the NFL in the lowest passer rating allowed in the 2022 season, and two Broncos' CBs made the list.
Even though Denver has struggled recently to sack the QB, what cannot be disputed is how talented their secondary is. You could argue that they have the best outside cornerback, best slot cornerback, and the best safety in all of football. The 2023 season should be more of the same as well. Among ranked CBs, Essang Bassey ranked 7th on the list and K'Waun Williams ranked 8th on the list in lowest passer rating allowed from the slot.
"Bassey was a rotational corner for the Broncos last season, helping his teammate, K’Waun Williams, who is next on this list. He played just 222 snaps last season, but 173 came from a slot alignment. On 126 of those snaps, he dropped into coverage, where he was targeted 16 times and allowed eight receptions for 73 yards.- Braxton Howard
Bassey did not allow a touchdown from a slot alignment, and his 15.8 snaps per reception ranked first among the qualified corners. Although he isn’t a projected starter, he has proven to be a more-than-solid rotational piece in the secondary and a plus player in special teams.
Williams had the most coverage snaps from the slot of the corners that made this list. He also did not allow a touchdown from that alignment. Against Jacksonville in Week 8, he put forth his best performance of the season, posting a 90.8 coverage grade. He was targeted three times and delivered a pass breakup and an interception against Trevor Lawrence.
The soon-to-be 32-year-old offers that veteran presence we have talked about to a young secondary in Denver, led by superstar Patrick Surtain II. Assuming Bassey doesn’t take over the slot role, Williams will have a solid young player to rotate with him once again."
I was a bit shocked to see Bassey appear on this list, but heck, I'll take it! I did very much expect Williams to be ranked here when I first saw the headline, and I wasn't disappointed. Even at his plus-30 age, Williams has proven to be one of the three-five best slot cornerbacks in the NFL.
Bassey also seems to be making a name for himself, too. We'll see if both players can continue their slot CB dominance in the 2023 campaign.