Denver Broncos | News


Presented by

10 Burning Questions for Camp: Who provides cornerback depth?


Even though Bryce Callahan and Kareem Jackson have yet to play a game-time snap for the Broncos, the notion that the team has one of the best cornerback trios in the NFL appears legitimate. 

With Callahan set to move into an every-down role after flourishing as the Bears' No. 3 cornerback and Jackson poised to multitask with responsibilities at safety and cornerback, they immediately helped restore the cornerback position to the strength it was for most of the 2010s, joining four-time Pro Bowler Chris Harris Jr.

But who is the next man up if Callahan, Harris or Jackson is injured? 

The contest for the No. 4 cornerback begins with 2018 third-round pick Isaac Yiadom and veteran De'Vante Bausby, who joined the Broncos in April after leading the Alliance of American Football in interceptions before the league shut down after eight games.

Yiadom played 263 snaps last season, 169 of which came in the Broncos' final four regular-season games.

"It was a long rookie year, for sure. I learned so much," Yiadom said last week. "But the No. 1 thing I learned is the game. The speed of the game wasn't new to me, because I knew it was going to be fast. But it was just understanding football concepts, how to study, what to look for, how to go about playing corner."

To continue sharpening his skills, Yiadom joined wide receivers Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton in Florida for some extra training and workout sessions in late June.

"Most of the days, we would wake up, work out, come back home, relax, and then at night time, once the sun and humidity go down, we would go do position work," Yiadom said.

That extra work allowed Yiadom to build off an offseason that saw him focus on learning how to play off the line of scrimmage, which was a focal point of his work with Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell.

"That's something I really emphasized this offseason. He helped me learn where to look, where my help is," Yiadom said. "How to stay square in my [back]pedal is a key thing that we've been working on, because as a defensive back, nobody really backpedals anymore, but if you can backpedal at an elite level, you won't get beat that often."

Bausby was able to make an early impression after joining the Broncos as he capitalized off the absence of Harris and the decision to ease Callahan and Yiadom up to full-speed work during the first weeks of the Broncos' offseason program. Bausby arrived in game shape thanks to his work in the AAF.

"We had [voluntary veteran] minicamp here my second week here, and I was still in midseason form, so I was out there flying around, going crazy, making plays," Bausby said.

Also aiding Bausby is the presence of Donatell and Head Coach Vic Fangio, who coached him in Chicago during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Bausby has a firm grasp on what the scheme and coaches ask of the defensive backs.

"I think what makes our defensive backs unique is that we're ballhawks, but at the same time [we work on] little things like knowing the receiver's timing, knowing when to look for the ball in press coverage or knowing when to jump a route in off-man [coverage]," Bausby said last month. "Little things like that kind of separate us from a lot of other teams." 

The ability to succeed at executing those "little things" will also determine who ends up as the No. 4 cornerback.

Related Content