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Mile High Morning:'s Judy Battista names Russell Wilson one of 22 people who will shape the 2022 season 


The Lead

It's no surprise that Russell Wilson is expected to have a massive impact on the Broncos, but he could also influence the entire league this season.’s Judy Battista compiled a list of the 22 people — including players, coaches and executives — whom she expects to have the greatest impact on the upcoming season, and Wilson was one of the 11 players she selected.

Battista noted that the Broncos and Wilson were each the missing piece that the other needed, and that their partnership could dethrone the Chiefs from their place atop the AFC West.

"As much as Tom Brady's retirement decision reshaped the NFC, Russell Wilson's trade to the Broncos transformed the AFC West, the entire conference and perhaps the Super Bowl picture," Battista wrote. "Denver was a playoff roster in need of a quarterback; Wilson was a Super Bowl-winning quarterback in need of a better roster. Their marriage makes the Broncos a legitimate threat to upend the Chiefs' six-year reign over the division, and it makes the West perhaps the most competitive division in the history of the NFL."

Pointing to Wilson's history of leading his teams to winning seasons throughout his career, Battista predicted that Wilson could reach new heights in his career with Denver if he performs at his best.

"If Nathaniel Hackett finally lets Russ cook, we might get deep shots to the Broncos' army of talented receivers and the kind of season we have always envisioned from Wilson," Battista wrote. "In each of his 10 NFL campaigns, Wilson has thrown at least 20 touchdown passes, while his teams have won at least 10 games eight times. If Wilson performs the way he should, he could be poised to win his first league MVP and mimic Peyton Manning's Super Bowl triumph in a second act with the Broncos." 

With the opening kickoff set for Thursday, only time will tell how 2022 turns out. But with Wilson leading the Broncos, there is a good chance No. 3 will have a big impact on the season.

Below the Fold

Pat Surtain II has already made a name for himself as he enters his second NFL season, and his talent has been recognized alongside the best cornerbacks in the league. 

A panel of CBS Sports analysts put together the CBS 2022 Preseason All-NFL Team, consisting of the best 53-man roster they could form with players across the NFL. Surtain was one of six cornerbacks chosen, alongside Jalen Ramsey, J.C. Jackson, Trevon Diggs, Xavien Howard and Jaire Alexander. As the youngest cornerback in the group, Surtain is part of elite company at just 22 years old.

The Unclassifieds

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