These past couple of seasons have not been positive for the Denver Broncos. Since winning Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers, the Broncos have not made the playoffs. They have accumulated an overall record of 32-48 since that Super Bowl win. While most of the blame can be placed on the offensive side of the ball, the lack of sufficient defensive play over the past few seasons deserves blame as well. This off-season, the Broncos made a big commitment to address the serious needs on the defensive side of the ball. The biggest difference in their defense is the defensive back unit, especially at the cornerback position.
Denver Broncos Cornerbacks Upgrade Will Improve Their Secondary
Broncos Make Solid Additions to the Secondary
Last season, the Broncos defense ranked 25th in the league in points allowed per game (27.9) and 16th in passing yards allowed per game (237.9). Denver also allowed 201 first downs through the passing game and allowed a completion percentage of 66%. The Broncos needed more efficient man coverage cornerbacks. With this off-season being a hot market for short-term Pro-Bowl caliber veterans, the Broncos made a push for one of the most efficient man coverage corners. On March 23, the Broncos signed two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Kyle Fuller, who spent seven seasons with the Chicago Bears. Denver signed Fuller to a one-year, $9.5 million contract. Fuller is one of the most efficient man coverage cornerbacks in the league as he can match the speed and direction of receivers’ routes and movements.
Denver continued to address their secondary by selecting Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II with the ninth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Surtain is a young elite cornerback that plays to the style of Fuller. Both Fuller and Surtain are highly efficient in reading the quarterback’s eyes and possess great judgment and ability to turn and make a play on the ball. Having Surtain and Fuller as the main cornerbacks will be a significant improvement for their defense. Both players can help make Denver’s secondary one of the top units in the league.
They Will Be Tested by Great Passing Offenses
The Broncos will need all the help they can get when it comes to their defense. Yes, in their first four games of the season, Denver will face three offenses that were ranked among the worst four passing offenses in the league last season. But after that, the Broncos schedule does not get any easier as they will then be competing against more efficient passing offenses.
The real test for the Broncos new and hopefully improved secondary will be their divisional games. In their games against other AFC West teams, they will have to face off against a surging Las Vegas Raiders and quarterback Derek Carr. Last season, the Raiders ranked seventh in passing yards per game (263.6). The Broncos will also have to face the Los Angeles Chargers and their talented second-year quarterback Justin Hebert. Last season, the Chargers ranked 18th in points per game (24) and sixth in passing yards per game (270.6). Finally, Denver will have to face one of the most electric offenses in the league in the Kansas City Chiefs behind their elite quarterback in Patrick Mahomes II. Last season, the Chiefs ranked sixth in points per game (29.6) and first in passing yards per game (303.4). These are the offenses that will be the real test to see if Denver Broncos cornerbacks have helped improve their secondary.