MILE HIGH MONDAY

The Broncos roster is better than what some people think

Jun 3, 2024, 5:35 AM

The Denver Broncos are going through their offseason schedule, and their unproven talent is getting ready for the regular season. It’s fun to watch them at OTAs every week, and mandatory minicamp begins next week.

I like the way the Broncos are trending. I want to see what things look like when the full team (hopefully) shows up in a week.

I also like contemplating life and sports when driving around with the top down on my old Jeep Wrangler TJ! The following is a result of those trips during the week.

Buckle up, let’s take a ride through my thoughts.

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Unproven Talent

Despite what many think, the Broncos have talent on the roster. It gets under my skin when media or fans say the Broncos don’t have talent. They have talent, it’s just unproven talent at this point.

Imagine my dismay when it was revealed that Pro Football Focus has the Broncos with the No. 32 ranked roster. Now, I’m not against PFF like some in the football media. I’ve got quite a few friends that work for them, and I appreciate the work they do in breaking down film on a weekly basis. However, I think this ranking is at least 10 spots off where it needs to be.

After watching rookie minicamp and two weeks of OTAs, I could put the Broncos near 20th if I were to make a list. I cover the entire league, so I’m knowledgeable about every team in the NFL. The Broncos do not have the worst roster in the league, they just have perhaps the most unproven roster. I believe the Broncos could win nine games this season, and some think I’m crazy for predicting that record. I’m not a Broncos fan, and I’m not crazy, but I believe in these young players – but most importantly I believe in HC Sean Payton.

The Broncos have talent, they just don’t have proven talent. When those young players earn valuable experience, I feel the rest of the league will see how wrong they were on the assumptions about this roster.

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Future First?

What could Troy Franklin be for the Broncos? I had Franklin with a second-round grade in the 2024 NFL Draft, and I was surprised when he made it to the early fourth round. The Broncos had to see his fall as a welcome surprise, and that’s why they made an aggressive move to get him early in day three of the draft. Could they have drafted a future No. 1 receiver?

Franklin was a dominant target for QB Bo Nix in college at Oregon. It just makes too much sense to reunite the two in the Mile High City. While the Payton offense is not exactly what the Ducks run, there are similar concepts that Oregon borrowed from Payton’s concepts. That means you could do similar things with Nix and Franklin that they did in college.

Payton told us his vision of Franklin is as a “Z” receiver. That’s a flanker, and that designation means they can put him in motion before the snap of the ball. Franklin is incredibly fast and getting a clean release off the line (from motion) means he can attack a defense even quicker. I’m not sure if Franklin can ever be a true no.1 receiver in the NFL, but he could at least be a dangerous No. 2 receiver. Think of Emmanuel Sanders (opposite of Demaryius Thomas) when you project the ceiling for Franklin in the pros.

Franklin has the ability to one day be a Pro Bowl receiver in this league. I’m not sure he will be the team’s No. 1 receiver, but his skill will push to get targets – and Nix will remain comfortable throwing to him.

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Not Sure About Javonte

I’m not sure about Javonte Williams. I am sure that he had great talent coming out of the University of North Carolina a few years ago. That’s why he was my no.1 running back in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, a knee injury that cut his 2022 season short has taken a toll on the young runner.

He did not look good in 2023, and he did not look like his former self. In his first two seasons, Williams averaged 4.4 and 4.3 yards per carry. Last year, Williams averaged 3.6 yards per carry. He did not have the explosion back after the knee injury, and Williams did not get better as the season went on. I praise him for being ready for Week 1 (about 10 months removed from major knee surgery), but Williams might have looked better if given more time to properly heal.

Williams has some of his burst back, but he does not have all of it back in my estimation. Perhaps when training camp gets here, Williams will have full confidence in his speed and cutting ability. Right now at OTAs, Williams looks better but not like the great back he was earlier in his career.

It’s early, so I’m willing to take a wait-and-see approach with Williams. Once training camp and the preseason get here, we’ll know if Williams is ever going to look the same again.

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T-Sizzle Reel?

I can’t wait for the movie “Deadpool & Wolverine” this summer. I love the character of Wolverine, and Deadpool has always been a favorite of mine as well. I really don’t care who else is in this movie as those two will bring tons of fun to the screen.

However, there are some fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe who are excited to see if Taylor Swift is cast as Dazzler in this movie. There are a ton of rumors about her appearance, and there have been a lot since the NFL season. Ryan Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively are both friends with Swift, and she’s a known fan of the Deadpool franchise – even dressing up as Lady Deadpool one year for Halloween.

I don’t care if Swift is Dazzler, the Blonde Phantom, or even if she plays herself in the movie. Movie scoopers are reporting all three things with the movie about a month away. There are even some who are coming forward to say that Swift is not in the movie at all. We’ll find out if she’s in the movie soon enough. My enjoyment and excitement for this movie have nothing to do with Swift, although I do realize that her appearance could launch this likely Billion-dollar movie even further into the stratosphere.

How excited are you for the new Deadpool movie – with or without Swift? Hit me up on social media and let me know!

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