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Mile High Morning: Why preseason prognosticators may be undervaluing the Broncos


The Lead

We've previously examined how a few NFL analysts have rated the Broncos in their power rankings. Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News had the Broncos at 15th and's Dan Hanzus placed them at 21st after the draft, and NBC Sports' Peter King ranked them 20th earlier in June.

According to Pro Football Focus' Ben Linsey, all of them may be underrating this Broncos roster.

In a new ESPN article ranking teams’ rosters based on PFF’s rating database, Linsey ranked Denver 14th, bolstered largely by a strong set of offensive targets for quarterback Drew Lock.

"The 2020 draft was all about getting quarterback Drew Lock some more weapons. And now, those offensive weapons stick out as one of the strengths of the team," Linsey wrote. "Courtland Sutton corralled the drop issues that plagued him as a rookie and ended the 2019 season as PFF's 10th-highest-graded wide receiver, and Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler should give him plenty of support early in their NFL careers."

That means, of course, that a lot is riding on Lock — as many Broncos fans undoubtedly already understand.

"This team will go as far as Lock takes it this season," Linsey wrote. "… At this point, it's too early to say what he'll look like in his second season, making him a true X factor on what is otherwise a talented roster."

Below the Fold

On Wednesday, we shared The Athletic's detailed recounting of Peyton Manning's free-agency decision process. They followed that up with an extensive exercise wondering what each team’s outlook would have been like had Manning made a different decision. Obviously we don't much want to imagine a world where Manning didn't become a Bronco, but the alternate universe is certainly interesting, as Lindsay Jones explores for the Denver-centric perspective.

Is Von Miller one of the three best players ever in the NFL? Courtland Sutton thinks so. In a newly published Players Tribune questionnaire, he shared that and much more to help fans get to know him better.

Get an inside glimpse of Jerry Jeudy's first trip to Denver in a new video on his YouTube channel. Over the four minutes you can see snippets of a workout with Broncos cornerback Davontae Harris and his perspective of the Broncos' player-led protest for racial justice.

The Unclassifieds

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