BRONCOS

Stidham, Williams and Elliss among standouts at Thursday’s OTA

May 31, 2024, 6:03 AM | Updated: 1:46 pm

The Denver Broncos were back on the practice field for the second week of OTAs, and on Thursday it was once again open to the media.

After one week of workouts, I wanted to see if players who performed well again looked good. If players did not perform well, I wanted to see if they could turn things around. On Thursday, I was able to get some of those answers.

Here are some notes from Thursday’s practice.

***

Stidham Good Second-Team QB

For the second week in a row, Bo Nix was working with the first-team offense. Jarrett Stidham got another day of working with the second team. Now, Broncos HC Sean Payton is rotating the quarterbacks on a daily basis, so Stidham does open every week with the first team. Those sessions are closed to the media, so we can only go off what we’ve seen.

I’ve seen Stidham look like a good second-team quarterback. He’s in the second year of the Payton system, so Stidham has an advantage over the rookie Nix and veteran Zach Wilson. Stidham should look good, but he’s working with and against the second team. What does he look like against better competition?

We’ve seen Stidham as the starter, and the results were not good. Last year in the final two games, the QB started for the Broncos and performed poorly. This year, Stidham may begin the season as the starter – even though Nix looks good with the first team over the last couple of weeks. All roads lead to Nix, and he’s going to start eventually. I think it helps Nix to have Stidham as the No. 2 quarterback to push him for the starting job and help teach him when he’s clearly the backup.

***

Javonte Williams Looked Better… Kind Of

Last week, Javonte Williams did not look like he had much burst as a runner. This week, Williams did look better in terms of burst… kind of. Williams took time to ramp up this week, and in team drills he seemed to have more burst.

Williams may never be the same as he was before the horrific knee injury that ended his 2022 season. He’s likely at the top of the depth chart, but nothing is set in stone when it comes to the Broncos’ running back situation. It’s easy to project Williams as the starter this year, but he’s going to be pushed by others on the roster – mainly rookie Audric Estime.

It helps Williams’ cause as Estime was knocked out of OTAs with a knee injury last week. Payton gave us an update on the rookie power back, and even though the knee injury is not serious, it is going to keep Estime out of action until training camp. That opens the door for Williams to outpace Estime for the starting job – if he can show his burst is back. Perhaps as the offseason rolls on, Williams will continue to show better burst.

***

A Great Debut

We weren’t able to watch rookie edge Jonah Elliss last week as he continued to recover from the shoulder surgery he had last year. This week, Elliss was on the field during team drills for the first time this offseason – and he looked fantastic!

Elliss has multiple moves to get after the passer, and a few of those were on display during team drills. There’s no sacking the quarterback in practice, but Elliss was wrecking plays – and he had multiple ‘would have been’ sacks on Thursday.

I appreciate his hustle when running down plays that go away from him as well. Elliss is a strong pass-rusher, but he showed the ability to stay stout against the run. He also showed the ability to chase down plays from the backside. Overall, it was a great debut for the rookie. I look forward to seeing him out on the field more often.

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Stidham, Williams and Elliss among standouts at Thursday’s OTA