After a restful bye week, the Broncos will look to go on a run in the second half of the season. With nine games remaining, anything is possible — and The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider laid out several predictions for how Denver's final nine games will turn out.
Greg Dulcich has provided a spark for the Broncos' offense through his first three games after starting the season on injured reserve, and Kosmider predicts that the young tight end will make the Pro Football Writers of America's All-Rookie Team.
"Heading into Week 9, Dulcich led all rookie tight ends in receiving yards with 182 in three games played," Kosmider wrote. "Isaiah Likely of the Ravens ranked second at 181 yards — in eight games. Among rookie tight ends with at least two targets, Dulcich ranks first in air yards per target at 13.2. He has been a bonafide weapon in the downfield passing game, and the Broncos had the bye week to create even more opportunities for the 22-year-old to impact the game plan."
Kosmider noted that Dulcich ranks second in the league in yards per reception with 15.17, and the rookie could continue to rise in the leaderboards through the second half of the season.
Defensive end Dre'Mont Jones has also put on a show through the first half, totaling 5.5 sacks in eight games. Kosmider predicts that Jones will finish the season with 11 sacks and earn his first Pro Bowl berth.
"Jones, a third-round pick out of Ohio State in 2019, is playing on the fourth and final season of his rookie contract and is angling for a massive extension," Kosmider wrote. "He has been one of the most effective interior pass rushers in the NFL this season and is coming off a performance against the Jaguars — seven tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, one perfect British tea sack celebration — that earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
"Jones only figures to further elevate his play over the final nine games. That's the trend his career has followed. And when he finishes with 11 sacks and a Pro Bowl invite, he'll have given himself great leverage at the negotiating table."
Below the Fold
Quarterback Josh Johnson traveled back to his home city of Oakland during the bye week, and the 13-year veteran received a special honor during his return. Over the weekend, Libby Schaaf, the mayor of Oakland, awarded Johnson with a key to the city and proclaimed Nov. 5 as "Josh Johnson Day."
Johnson earned this honor for his work with the Fam 1st Family Foundation, which assists in the empowerment and elevation of underserved youth in Oakland. During the ceremony, Johnson recognized six other leaders and mentors as Pillars of Oakland for their impacts in the community and on his own journey.