Von Miller and Justin Simmons Ranked High
In anticipation of the upcoming 2021 NFL season, ESPN is working on identifying the top players at each position.
This has been done by surveying coaches and team executives from around the league, and some Broncos defense players are getting some love.
The defense in Denver is expected to carry the team this season, and there are a few stars to build around. Von Miller was one of the players that were given some recognition, but the other might come as a surprise to some Broncos fans.
According to the survey, Justin Simmons is the second-best safety in the National Football League. Simmons actually came in at 7th place on the list a season ago, but a strong 2020 season did not go unnoticed.
The 27-year-old does not get a ton of national attention for his play, and the Broncos’ poor records over the past few seasons haven’t helped. League executives and coaches have taken note, and opposing quarterbacks continue to stay away from Simmons.
Minkah Fitzpatrick of the Pittsburgh Steelers topped the list of NFL safeties, but the results were much closer than expected. Fitzpatrick causes more damage on the defensive side of the ball, but Simmons just continues to be steady.
The health and status of Von Miller will be a huge key for the Broncos this season, as he remains one of the best defensive players in the NFL. Miller shows up on the list of edge rushers, and he has put up some monster stats throughout his career.
Miller never took a single snap a season ago, but he was still ranked as the 6th best edge rusher in the NFL. The linebacker averages 0.79 sacks per game in his career, and that is tied for the second-best mark of all-time.
Most of the talk surrounding the Broncos is about fixing the offense, but the Broncos should be able to win some games with this defense. If Simmons and Miller remain healthy in 2021, that unit could help the Broncos make a playoff push.
Will Sutton Lead the Offense?
Not only did injuries affect the defense a season ago, but the Broncos were also without one of their best offensive weapons. Courtland Sutton suffered a torn ACL in Week 2 in 2020, but he should be on the field to begin the 2021 season.
The Broncos continue to monitor the rehab for Sutton, but several coaches and players have commented about how good he has looked in minicamp. If Sutton is able to be on the field, you can expect plenty of balls to be thrown in his direction.
Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said, “Certainly, having him back is going to be huge. He was a huge piece of the offense two years ago … certainly, we missed him. We’re all thrilled to have him back.
Drew Lock is expected to be under center for the Broncos as of now, but Denver continues to look for upgrades at that position. You can expect whichever quarterback that takes that snaps to be looking for Sutton.
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