5 underrated Broncos players who could make a massive impact next season

  • Somebody needs to step up at WR
  • Second-year linebacker needs to prove his worth
  • Defensive line is thin, so an unheralded player has a shot

Oct 22, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos running back Jaleel McLaughlin (38) following a win over the Green Bay Packers.
Oct 22, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos running back Jaleel McLaughlin (38) following a win over the Green Bay Packers. / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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Jaleel McLaughlin, Denver Broncos
Dec 16, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Denver Broncos running back Jaleel McLaughlin (38) is tackled by a pair of Detroit Lions. / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Jaleel McLaughlin, Running Back

The duo of Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine were able to get the job done last season but neither player was explosive and unless Williams has a major resurgence this season, that will likely stay the same.

Undrafted rookie Jaleel McLaughlin showed signs of electricity when he touched the ball last season and he became one of the best stories on the entire roster. He carried the ball 76 times for 410 yards (5.4-yard average) and caught 31 passes for 160 yards while scoring three touchdowns. He was the key reason the team was able to come back and defeat the Chicago Bears.

McLaughlin will have a chance to be even more productive in year two, but he is going to need some more touches. Sean Payton chose to rely on his veterans, which is understandable, but McLaughlin should definitely have earned his trust with his solid rookie campaign.

The hope will be for Williams to get the bounce back in his step after a quiet year coming off of a major knee injury and that will be the key to Denver's offensive backfield. But if that doesn't happen, Perine should get his shots while McLaughlin remains a potential ace up the sleeve.