BRONCOS

Nix, Mims and Krull turn heads during OTAs for the Broncos

May 24, 2024, 4:50 AM | Updated: 10:25 am

This week, the Denver Broncos practiced with the full team for the first time this offseason, and it was awesome! They practiced on Tuesday and Wednesday, but those sessions were closed to the media. On Thursday it was open, and I was there bright and early.

Now, the performance was not flawless, but it’s always good to see the team building for the future. The construction of the roster begins now. Yes, it’s only practice but you can gather clues as to what this team is going to look like in the 2024 season in these events.

Here are some notes from Thursday’s practice.

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Nix Learns Fast

Broncos’ rookie first-round quarterback Bo Nix looked flawless at rookie minicamp a couple of weeks ago. On Thursday, Nix showed flaws. He was running the first-team offense, and Nix was going against the first-team defense – and it showed.

While Nix showed flaws, he did learn quickly from his mistakes. The defense was able to fool Nix before the snap. However, they could not do the same things twice. Nix learned quickly from his mistakes, and then he made the defense pay.

He’s a rookie, so there are going to be bumps along the way. On Thursday, there were bumps – but they did not last. I trust Nix will continue to learn quickly as he gets up to speed in the NFL.

***

Mims Shows Improvement

Marvin Mims did not run crisp routes as a rookie in 2023. He made the Pro Bowl, but that was because of his return ability. Mims is super-fast, and that was evident last year, but he did not use guile to get open.

I asked Broncos’ OC Joe Lombardi how Mims could get better in the offseason when it came to running routes, and at the end of the season Lombardi did not have much of an answer. Simply put, Mims needed to do it himself with guidance from the staff.

Watching Mims on Thursday, I believe he’s put in the work. It was immediately obvious how much he’s changed during warmups. Mims did carry those crisp cuts over to the team drills as well. I’m not saying Mims is the No. 1 receiver for the Broncos, but he flashed that sort of ability in practice.

***

Get to Know 85

It was Lucas Krull’s day. He was making play after play, no matter who was throwing the ball. Krull is a big and fast tight end, but he’s a younger player who has been developing as a reserve on the Broncos roster.

On “Orange and Blue Today” with Andrew Mason and myself, we’ve been talking about Krull for some time. Krull is big and fast, and he was a weapon for the offense on Thursday. He made several catches, and there were a few of those he gathered in for big plays. I like that when Krull caught one pass for a touchdown, he let the defense know about it after he hit pay dirt.

I love the confidence from the young man, and he looks better than he did last year. Perhaps Krull is the reason why the Broncos did not select a tight end in the 2024 NFL draft. He’s not a rookie (undrafted out of Pitt in 2022), and Krull looks like he could be a surprise star for the Broncos in 2024.

Sean Payton kept it short and sweet when talking about Krull.

“I thought he’s had a good week. I said, ‘If you didn’t notice, everyone in the media was looking down at their rosters to see who [No.] 85 was.’ I said, ‘Someday soon, they’re going to know who 85 is.’ He’s looking sharp.” Payton said.

***

Opposite PS2

Who is going to start at cornerback opposite Pat Surtain? I think second-year pro Riley Moss made an impression in that competition on Thursday. Moss did not play much as a rookie last year, but the team has high hopes that he can develop into a starter.

On Thursday, Moss showed confidence in addition to his trademark speed and high football intelligence. I like the way he would bait quarterbacks into bad throws, only to knock them away. I also appreciate how Moss reads the receiver and doesn’t spend too much time watching a quarterback’s eyes.

Like all of these players, both with good and bad performances, it’s still way too early in the offseason to determine what’s going to happen. However, I think we saw enough clues to know that Moss might have a leg up over others looking to start opposite of Surtain.

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