Three Broncos having underrated starts to 2023

New York Jets v Denver Broncos
New York Jets v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages
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2) Jonathon Cooper

Justin Fields, Jonathon Cooper
Denver Broncos v Chicago Bears / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

Flip over to the other side of the defensive line, Jonathon Cooper has impressed early on for the Broncos. Cooper was a 7th round selection in 2021, and has broke out for the first time in 2023. Cooper starts alongside Bonitto, and the two have been one of the more successful pass rush duos in Denver in some time. So far, Cooper has totaled 4 sacks, 30 tackles, 3 tackles for a loss, 5 quarterback hits, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery on the backside of the aforementioned Bonitto strip-sack on Justin Fields in Chicago.

Cooper is in his third year with the Broncos now, but the prior extent of his work in Denver came as a back-end of the depth chart rusher who would occasionally see an expanded role when there were injuries. In his prior two years of work, Cooper had totaled 4.5 sacks in 30 games, 14 of them being starts. However, injuries to Frank Clark and the ineffectiveness of Randy Gregory, that resulted in Gregory's trade to San Francisco, have led Cooper into a starting role for the first time in his career, where he has almost doubled his career sack total from before this year.

Cooper, like Bonitto, is on pace for a double-digit sack season and is proving himself to be a viable candidate for the Broncos off the edge for a long time to come.