These Broncos rookies can gain the most ground in 2024 training camp

Which Broncos rookies can gain the most ground during training camp?
Goodyear Cotton Bowl - Missouri v Ohio State
Goodyear Cotton Bowl - Missouri v Ohio State / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos have effectively wrapped up their 2024 NFL Draft process, selecting seven players in the draft and signing a handful of undrafted free agents in the aftermath. As the Broncos continue with the start of the pre-season with rookie mini-camp kicking off on May 10th, a few rookies are expected to catch eyes quickly. Let's take a look at a pair of Broncos who can shoot up the depth chart quickly.

1) CB Kris Abrams-Draine

Kris Abrams-Draine comes to the Broncos following a career at Mizzou which ended with the Tigers ranking 8th in the final AP poll. Abrams-Draine, 22, is in a strong position to start for the Broncos almost immediately. The Broncos figure to have two of their starting corners Sharpied in heading into 2024: outside corner Pat Surtain, and then slot corner Ja'Quan McMillian. The Broncos' second outside corner spot is completely up in the air, however.

The team let Fabian Moreau walk in free agency, even though he is yet to sign, and have seemingly replaced his veteran presence with Levi Wallace.

The Broncos realistically have four options for their other starting corner: Abrams-Draine, Wallace, 2023 draft selection Riley Moss, and 2022 draftee Damarri Mathis. Mathis lost his starting role in 2023, but Moss was not the one who claimed it. Wallace only started nine games for the Steelers, but brought in two interceptions and deflected 11 passes. Ultimately, it would make the most sense for the Broncos long-term to start Abrams-Draine opposite of Surtain. If the Broncos go in that direction and Abrams-Draine performs, the Broncos could be set at the corner position for a long time to come.

2) RB Blake Watson

Blake Watson is not the first running back the Broncos brought in during the 2024 draft process, but he might have the most to gain in the pre-season process. Watson was the most sought-after running back on the undrafted free agent market following the 2024 draft, giving him a $250,000 salary. Watson joins running back Audric Estimé as the two rookies in training camp for the Broncos, and both have good reason to believe there is room for them in Denver.

Watson is an explosive back with a strong college background, and figures to be a fixture in Denver this year. Watson's competition in the running back room will come from Estime, 2023 undrafted free agent Jaleel McLaughlin, and veterans Javontee Williams and Samaje Perine. Williams and Perine are both pending free agents, making it easy to move on from either if they are beaten out in training camp.

Watson is a burner and brings speed to the Broncos backfield that the likes of Williams and Perine do not. Ultimately, he also brings youth and health that the Broncos' two veterans do not. Blake Watson is a name to watch entering training camp and could find his way to Opening Week with the Broncos as an important piece if the cards fall correctly in camp.