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Stroud, Gibbs and more: Highlighting the rookies on the Broncos' 2023 schedule

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos' 2023 schedule will feature its share of familiar faces, as Denver will battle Travis Kelce, Bradley Chubb and Keenan Allen.

New players, though, will also play a role in the outcome of this year's slate.

Many of the teams on the Broncos' 2023 schedule added top-tier talent in the first round of this year's NFL Draft, and Denver could well see these players when the respective matchups arrive.

Here, then, is a look at the top 2023 draft pick for each of the Broncos' opponents this season:

Week 1 vs. Raiders and Week 18 at Las Vegas: DE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech (No. 7 overall)

Wilson posted 14 sacks and 17.5 tackles during his final two seasons at Texas Tech and joins a front seven that also features Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones. He earned first-team All-American and first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2022.

Week 2 vs. Commanders: CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State (No. 16 overall)

Forbes was a second-team All-American and first-team All-SEC player in 2022 and led the SEC in interceptions in both 2020 (5) and 2022 (6). During his career, he recorded six pick-sixes, including a 90-yarder in 2020 and an 82-yard in 2022.

Week 3 at Dolphins: CB Cam Smith, South Carolina (No. 51 overall)

The Dolphins did not pick until the middle of the second round, where they selected the South Carolina product. He posted four interceptions and 18 passes defensed over his final two seasons.

Week 4 at Bears: T Darnell Wright, Tennessee (No. 10 overall)

A first-team All-SEC player in 2022, Wright started 26 games over his final two seasons for the Vols. The 6-foot-5, 333-pound player worked at left tackle, right tackle and right guard in college.

Week 5 vs. Jets: LB Will McDonald IV, Iowa State (No. 15 overall)

McDonald earned first-team All-Big 12 honors in three consecutive seasons as he posted 35 tackles for loss and 27 sacks from 2020-22. He earned first-team All-American honors in 2021 with 11.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss.

Week 6 at Chiefs and Week 8 vs. Kansas City: DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State (No. 31 overall)

A second-team All-American and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2022, Anudike-Uzomah posted 11 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in 2022. He tied the Kansas State single-season record for forced fumbles with six in 2021.

Week 7 vs. Packers: DE Lukas Van Ness, Iowa (No. 13 overall)

Despite never starting a game in his two seasons for the Hawkeyes, Van Ness recorded 71 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks in two seasons. Van Ness is a high-ceiling player who has plenty of NFL upside, according to analysts.

Week 10 at Bills: TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah (No. 25 overall)

The first tight end selected in the draft, Kincaid caught 70 passes for 890 yards and eight touchdowns in 2022. The first-team All-American led FBS tight ends in both receiving yards and catches per game, and he joins a roster that includes Dawson Knox.

Week 11 vs. Vikings: WR Jordan Addison, USC (No. 23 overall)

Addison joins Justin Jefferson, arguably the league's top wide receiver, to form one of the NFL's more formidable duos. Addison spent his final season at USC, where he earned first-team All-Pac 12 honors and caught 59 passes for 875 yards and eight touchdowns.

Week 12 vs. Browns: WR Cedric Tillman, Tennessee (No. 74 overall)

Cleveland's first selection came in the third round, where they selected the 6-foot-3, 213-pound player. Tillman's best season came in 2021, when he caught 64 passes for 1,081 yards and 12 touchdown catches. He struggled with injuries during his final season for the Vols.

Week 13 at Texans: QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State (No. 2 overall)

The second quarterback off the board, Stroud could be the Texans' starter by the time the Broncos visit Houston. A two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and second-team All-American in 2022, Stroud completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 3,688 yards, 41 touchdowns and six interceptions during his final season in Columbus. The Texans also traded up to the third-overall pick to select Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr.

Week 14 at Chargers and Week 17 vs. Los Angeles: WR Quentin Johnston, TCU (No. 21 overall)

A two-time first-team All-Big 12 player, Johnston caught 93 passes for 1,703 yards and 12 touchdowns in his final two seasons for the Horned Frogs. He joins Keenan Allen and Mike Williams in the Chargers' explosive receiving corps.

Week 15 at Lions: RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama (No. 12 overall)

A do-it-all player, Gibbs earned second-team All-American honors during his lone season at Alabama. He carried the ball 151 times for 926 yards and seven touchdowns while also catching 44 passes for 444 yards and three touchdowns for the Crimson Tide.

Week 16 vs. Patriots: CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon (No. 17 overall)

The Athletic's top-ranked cornerback, Gonzalez earned first-team All-Pac 12 honors for Oregon in 2022 after transferring from Colorado. He posted 11 passes defensed and four interceptions during his final collegiate season.

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