As Pro Football Focus continues to count down their ranking of the top 50 NFL players heading into the 2021 season, the Broncos have placed two on the list with just the top 10 left to be named.
The top Bronco to make the ranking has been star safety Justin Simmons, who was ranked No. 23.
"Simmons is a free safety for the Broncos, but he can impact far more plays than most free safeties throughout the NFL," Monson wrote. "He has notched 28 defensive stops over the past two seasons, a top-11 figure in each season, and almost every player ranked ahead of him is primarily a box safety by trade. Simmons is the highest-graded safety in the league since the start of the 2019 season."
Simmons may have the potential to exceed his preseason ranking by the end of the year. Given the returning front-seven talent and the new additions to the secondary in Kyle Fuller, Ronald Darby and Pat Surtain II, Simmons could be in position to add to his takeaway stats and make key stops all over the field.
And the other Bronco to make the list was Bryce Callahan, who "may be the most underrated player in the NFL," as Monson wrote.
"Callahan allowed a passer rating of 46.9 into his coverage in 2020, the best mark in the NFL," Monson wrote. "He didn't allow a touchdown or even a completion longer than 19 yards all season despite playing outside of his natural position for extended periods. If he can back up that kind of performance, he will remain one of the best players in the league — at any position."
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Over at ESPN, NFL Network reporters are giving progress reports on each first-round pick. As Jeff Legwold writes, Pat Surtain II has been everything he was advertised to be. "When the Broncos selected Surtain at No. 9 they not only believed he was the most talented defensive player on the board, but also the one with the most football maturity," Legwold wrote. "He has shown every bit of that is true. The team's veteran players have largely dispensed with the usual prove-it-before-I-learn-your-name stuff, because they already know Surtain is going to play and play a lot."