By Erick Trickel
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (247 SPORTS) – Entering the 2018 season, the Denver Broncos rookie class was highly thought of by fans and analysts. With five games in the books, how have the rookies performed for the Broncos?
Bradley Chubb, OLB
The No. 5 overall pick of the Broncos hasn’t made many eye-popping plays, which has lead to a lot of fans thinking he has been a disappointment. Sure, he hasn’t produced many flash plays, but he is playing disciplined football and making very few mistakes.
Bradley Chubb has taken on some good left tackles in the NFL and has applied a number of pressures to lead all rookie edge rushers. In the run game, he has been stout on the edge and has even made some plays.
It all hasn’t been great but Chubb has shown enough to believe in his development as an edge defender. The coaches just have to watch it with him in coverage, which is where the bad plays have come from.
Courtland Sutton, WR
The second-round receiver has really shined as a blocker, making key blocks on some big runs. Courtland Sutton has also made a good number of catches.
He still has a lot of work to go with his route running, but his size makes him hard to defend. So far Denver hasn’t really taken advantage of that size, which is something they should rectify as soon as possible.
Royce Freeman, RB
The rookie back can be hit or miss with his runs. Some runs Royce Freeman looks quick, decisive and hard to tackle, while on others he looks lost, has poor vision and runs into the pile.
He has shown improvements as a blocker, which has been needed for this offense. If he can be more consistent, the Broncos have a dangerous running back.
Isaac Yiadom, CB
Being a rookie cornerback and making a big impact right away is tough. It is even tougher when you have issues in sticking with good route runners.
This is what’s been holding Isaac Yiadom back so far when he’s seen the field. He does have a few bright spots that show his potential but he has a lot of work to do before being a starting-caliber corner.
Josey Jewell, LB
Denver needs more from all of their inside linebackers and that includes Josey Jewell. However, of the three that play on defense, he has been more well-rounded than the other two.
Jewell still has issues with discipline on play-action fakes and with his gap assignments, but he also makes some big plays. All he needs to do is be more consistent.
DaeSean Hamilton, WR
It wasn’t until week five that DaeSean Hamilton got his first catch, but he has made some good blocks prior to that. His time was coming, and his route running is excellent.
There is still some development needed, but he has a good future ahead of him.
Troy Fumagalli, TE
On injured reserve.
Sam Jones, C/OG
Sam Jones hasn’t seen the field yet, but he is on the 53-man roster.
Keishawn Bierria, LB
The other linebacker Denver drafted is only seeing time on special teams and it hasn’t been pretty for Keishawn Bierria.
David Williams, RB
David Williams was placed on the practice squad at the start of the season but was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday.
Phillip Lindsay, RB
The Broncos got a running back as an undrafted free agent who is outperforming the second overall pick in the NFL draft. He is a key piece to this offense and the coaches aren’t utilizing him as such.
Denver needs to use Phillip Lindsay more, and in a variety of ways. So far, though, Lindsay has been the rookie star of this group for the Broncos.
Alexander Johnson, LB
The linebacker who has been inactive has a lot of hope surrounding him with the Broncos. So far Alexander Johnson hasn’t played a snap, though.
Colby Wadman, P
The punter has only suited up for one game and outside of one punt, he was solid. Denver does need better from him on short-field punts, but he flashed potential there.