As the 2020 season inches closer, ESPN is counting down the top 10 players at each position, as decided by anonymous NFL coaches and executives.
On Monday, Von Miller became the first Bronco to make one of these top 10s (the series has four more position groups left, with one running daily through July 17). Even in spite of a down season in 2019, several decision-makers in the NFL see no serious concerns about that extending into 2020.
"You're still sliding protection to him most of the game," one longtime defensive coach told ESPN. "There are only a handful of players who command that attention, and he still does."
Miller earned votes as high as first overall and only as low as seventh; overall, he ended up fourth.
"I'd still take him over just about anyone," an NFC executive said. "If I need one player to get me one sack on a crucial third down, he's the guy."
Three of the Broncos' offensive players garnered some attention as honorable mentions, too.
Courtland Sutton received high praise from an admiring NFC executive: "He will be a star this year. Needs a little bit of experience, but I watched his targets last year and he's got it all."
One veteran NFL coach who picked Noah Fant said, "If you told me two years from now that he's a Pro Bowler, I'd say, yeah, I get it. Length and speed. Big fan of him."
Melvin Gordon III was also singled out by an NFL coordinator as a player who should have a big 2020: "I think you'll see a resurgence from him in Denver."
Below the Fold
As the Talk of Fame Network continues its project to name the 10 best AFL players not yet in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, they announced that former Broncos running back Cookie Gilchrist just missed the cut. "He was the first 1,000-yard rusher in AFL history and averaged exactly 1,000 yards a year for four years of the AFL, period," Broncos Team Historian Jim Saccomano wrote "… and this was in the second half of his great career."
With viral videos showing off his frantic footwork, Jerry Jeudy has become one of the Broncos' most highly anticipated rookies in recent memory. "His appearances at workouts organized by quarterback Drew Lock in recent weeks had teammates buzzing about his potential in an offense that needed upgrading," Jeff Legwold wrote in an article for ESPN.