On a crowded depth chart, one guard appears to be separating himself from the pack for the Denver Broncos.
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Broncos: Dalton Risner Earned High Praise From Nathaniel Hackett
The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider recently wrote an “offseason lessons” article. It included one noteworthy excerpt pertaining to guard Dalton Risner.
“Dalton Risner has earned high praise from Hackett at left guard,” Kosmider wrote.
Hackett previously called Risner “an unbelievable surprise” during a press conference on June 13.
“He’s been another one who’s been an absolute unbelievable surprise,” Hackett said. “We brought this whole system into this organization, this outside zone world, and it hasn’t been that way. He has really bought in and he is doing a fine job running off the ball, and [he’s] great in pass protection. He’s done a really good job and [I’m] really excited about where he’s at.”
The Broncos have a surplus of options at guard including Risner, Quinn Meinerz, Graham Glasgow, and Netane Muti, but Risner should be locked in as a starter. Hackett’s recent comments should further solidify that.
Risner was very good in pass protection last season. His PFF pass block grade of 73.6 was the 12th-highest among all NFL guards.
Broncos: Bradley Chubb Is Looking Good
Edge rusher Bradley Chubb has been another standout player this offseason. Chubb has struggled with injuries in recent years. He tore his ACL in 2019, and he suffered three different ankle injuries over the last two seasons.
The injuries severely hampered Chubb’s production last season, as he failed to record a sack across seven games.
Well, Chubb is finally healthy. Back in January, Chubb said that he was fully healthy for the first time since his rookie year.
“This offseason is probably my first time since my rookie year I’m coming out fully healthy going into the offseason, so I’m so excited about that, and I’m so excited to just put my head down and work.”
So far, teammate Mike Purcell has noticed the difference. On June 6, Purcell said Chubb looks more comfortable.
“You can tell that he’s comfortable,” Purcell said. “Obviously, last year with the ankle – even coming around the edge – he would say that he could feel it. But now, you can see him coming around that edge and it’s nothing. He can bend and move, so he’s looking how he was his rookie year.”
“So, it’s nice to have him. The biggest thing is that you’re your own worst critic, but you also have to be your own best cheerleader. So, for him to have that confidence and to feel the way that he does, it’s the same with me coming off of my injuries as well.”
During his rookie year, Chubb was one of the best young edge rushers in the NFL. In 16 games, he racked up 12 sacks and 36 pressures.
If he can get back to that level, the Broncos’ defense will become even more dangerous.