The 2022 season may not have gone as expected for the Broncos, but several players put together excellent individual performances.
Denver's 2021 draft class was considered one of the best draft classes in the league last year, receiving the Best Draft Award from Inside the League following the 2021 season, and several of those players reached even greater heights in their second season. In his end-of-season review, Pro Football Focus’ Marcus Mosher recognized two members of the Broncos' 2021 draft class for their performances in Year 2.
Pat Surtain II, who was named a Pro Bowler and a first-team All-Pro after a stellar 2022 season, was the Broncos' highest-graded player and the second highest-graded NFL cornerback by PFF.
"After a really strong rookie season, Surtain made a massive leap in Year 2," Mosher wrote. "He's quickly developed into a shutdown cornerback, allowing a passer rating of only 82.9. He only really struggled in one game this season and that was against Davante Adams. But Surtain did not allow a single catch in the team's final two games. In fact, Surtain gave up only six catches for 58 yards in the team's last six games."
Additionally, Mosher named guard/center Quinn Meinerz as Denver's biggest surprise of the 2022 season. In a year where the Broncos suffered numerous injuries across the offensive line, Meinerz consistently played at a high level and was one of PFF's top-rated guards in the NFL.
"After a solid rookie season, Meinerz made a huge leap in Year 2," Mosher wrote. "He finished as the No. 5 offensive guard by PFF grade, excelling as a run blocker. He allowed only 16 pressures this season and did not allow a sack in the final six games of the year."
Below the Fold
Former Broncos outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware is one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2023, and according to NFL.com’s Adam Rank, Ware has a good chance of being elected this year.
"I have a suspicion it's DeMarcus Ware (DE/LB, Dallas Cowboys, 2005-2013; Denver Broncos, 2014-16) who gets in this year," Rank wrote. "I thought Ware had a great chance last year, but again, it seems like we can't let just anybody in on the first ballot. Ware's spot on the waiting list ends up being filled by Dwight Freeney."
The Class of 2023 will be announced during the "NFL Honors" broadcast on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. MT.