Denver Broncos second-year cornerback Damarri Mathis could be in for a big year in 2023. The 24-year-old is the current starter opposite All-Pro Patrick Surtain II, and through his rookie year and this year's camp, he has been extremely impressive.
In 2022, Mathis was inserted into the starting lineup after injuries began to plague the secondary. He started 11 games during his rookie year and never relinquished his spot at the top of the depth chart. Mathis racked up 65 total tackles and seven passes defended during his rookie campaign, and at this point in camp, has solidified his spot on the field for 2023.
In the Broncos' week two preseason matchup with the San Francisco 49ers, Mathis made a handful of big plays including a pass breakup in man-to-man coverage and a forced fumble. Mathis has continually stacked good performances on top of each other, and it has reinforced his status as a potential rising star on the Denver defense.
Playing opposite a star player like Patrick Surtain II has made opposing quarterbacks more willing to challenge Mathis in pass coverage, but so far in his young career, Mathis has been up to the challenge. Going back to his rookie year, Mathis has displayed an ability to provide consistently tight coverage against opposing teams' starting wideouts.
Beyond his coverage abilities, Mathis is the definition of a physical corner, he has shown an unwavering willingness to tackle - a trait not all corners possess - and has already made a name for himself a physical tackler who can make plays in the screen and run games.
Mathis has already proven to be a capable starter, but with a full year under his belt and a strong camp, he is ready to make a gigantic leap in what is already a secondary full of talent.