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Mile High Morning: Broncos' 2020 rookie class gets promising grade from NFL.com

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The Lead

The 2020 Broncos may not have taken the field in the shape they had envisioned after season-ending injuries struck the likes of Courtland Sutton and Von Miller, but their rookie class played to expectations. Every member of the draft class appeared in at least four games, save for Justin Strnad who was placed on injured reserve before the season began.

From first-round pick Jerry Jeudy to undrafted free agent Essang Bassey, Denver's rookie got plenty of opportunities to gain experience and prove their mettle. NFL.com's Nick Shook came away fairly impressed with what he saw, as he awarded the rookie class a B in a recent article.

The 15th-overall pick garnered the most hype and attention this season, as he showed tremendous potential with ankle-breaking routes and good speed. Jeudy also struggled with drops that marred some of his performances, but on the whole, his first season was impressive.

"Jeudy had a dozen frustrating drops and often seemed out of sync with QB Drew Lock, catching less than half of his 113 targets, but he also recorded some highlight grabs and ultimately had a good rookie year," Shook wrote. "Jeudy can work on catching the ball and get excited about Sutton coming back in 2021."

Shook also saw flashes of solid play from the team's other rookies on offense, including KJ Hamler, Lloyd Cushenberry III and Albert Okwuegbunam.

On defense, though, Shook may have been most impressed by the undrafted cornerback from Wake Forest, Essang Bassey.

"Bassey went from undrafted afterthought to a promising piece in Denver's secondary," Shook wrote, "appearing in 12 games over the course of the season and recording 23 tackles, two passes defensed and one interception before an injury ended his season prematurely."

Below the Fold

In a new interview with 9NEWS' Arielle Orsuto, Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Emily Zaler reflected on her first season with the Broncos after becoming the team's first female coach. "It's truly a surreal feeling, is the best way to describe it, because it's living out a dream that I was told wasn't going to be possible for me," Zaler said. "To have an organization like the Denver Broncos be so welcoming and so open to the idea of bringing me on and it doesn't matter if I'm male or female but just welcoming me as a coach."

The Unclassifieds

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