The Broncos' top defensive player in 2022 is no secret. Cornerback Pat Surtain II has earned several honors — All-Pro selections, a Pro Bowl nod, etc. — that say as much.
As good as Surtain was, some other players on Denver's defense have flown under the radar. For NFL.com's Nick Shook and Pro Football Focus' Marcus Mosher, one player who hasn't gotten his due is Broncos inside linebacker Alex Singleton. Shook picked him as an “unsung hero” and Singleton was named by Mosher as a “secret superhero.”
"I initially chose Pat Surtain II for this, but his first-team All-Pro designation shows that he's getting his proper due," Shook wrote. "Singleton, however, still flies under the radar, even after he just put together his best professional season. The folks over at PFF weren't sleeping on Singleton: They graded him at 79.1 overall, good enough to land just outside the top 10 in linebacker grades across the league. This came as a result of injuries forcing Denver to elevate the quiet offseason addition who joined the Broncos as a depth defender and special teamer; he ended up starting 12 games and leading the team in tackles with 163. He'll be a free agent March, and after playing an important part for a stellar (but ultimately wasted) Broncos defense, Singleton should attract some attention on the open market. He's certainly earned it."
Singleton was a somewhat unheralded addition a year ago when he signed a one-year contract with the Broncos. Yet he emerged as one of the more productive players for Denver.
"The Broncos got really good play from their linebackers this season, as Josey Jewell was able to stay healthy and on the field," Mosher wrote. "However, their best linebacker was none other than Singleton, who was a monster in the run game. Not only did he lead the team in tackles (118), but he also led them in stops (62). He posted 22 more run stops than the next-highest player on the team."
Below the Fold
The first head-coaching opening of the 2023 cycle has been filled, as the Panthers announced they hired former Colts coach Frank Reich on Thursday. Following the news, NFL.com’s Judy Battista ranked the remaining vacancies, and the Broncos' opening is No. 1.