The Denver Broncos are entering the 2019 season with some talented young players and they could end up surprising people with how well they play.
I've put a lot of time and effort into putting together my rookie stat projections for the rookies that are expected to make the Broncos' roster. This is how I think the season plays out for them.
Noah Fant, TE
It isn’t typical for rookie tight ends to have a huge impact their rookie year. In fact, our own Bob Morris wrote a piece on just that topic, and it may surprise some. I also did some digging into it, which led to my projections.
Fant's athleticism is hard to match up with for opposing defenses and this is a scheme that is going to utilize him and his skill-set.
Stat projection: 37 rec., 483 yards, 4 TD.
Dalton Risner, OG
Being an offensive lineman, there are not many stats to project for him. However, Risner will be a 16-game starter and give up three sacks and commit four penalties as he earns Pro Bowl status.
Drew Lock, QB
Lock is a difficult player to project. He won’t see much time, unless Joe Flacco gets hurt. The other option is Lock seeing reps in garbage time. There are no stats I am projecting for this rookie.
Dre’Mont Jones, DL
The rookie defensive lineman is going to see time in a situational backup role. Still, there is a lot of talent on the Broncos' D-line and barring injury, he won’t see that many snaps.
Stat projection: 13 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 tackles for a loss, seeing under 20% of snaps on the season.
Justin Hollins, LB
Hollins is my pick to be the sleeper rookie for the Broncos and I predict he puts together a really good season in limited playing time. He is getting a lot of chatter about him from coaches and his ability to play off the edge and off-ball is going to help him see the field.
Athletic and quick in coverage, plus the speed around the edge is going to be a big help for this defense.
Stat projection: 27 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 INT and 7 TFL.
Juwann Winfree, WR
Winfree will be the Broncos' No. 4 or 5 receiver and see some action in games, but not much. Denver is going to have a focus on TEs and RBs, which will cut into his playing time.
What you see below is a fair projection for a rookie that is part of a good looking receiver corps loaded with potential.
Stat projections: 17 rec, 189 yards and 2 TD.
Malik Reed, OLB
Waiving Jeff Holland basically cements Reed’s spot on the roster. Being the No. 4 edge defender won't result in him seeing the field often, but when he does, Reed is going to make a decent impact
Stat projection: 21 tackes, 2.5 sacks, 4 TFL.
Denver has talent in their rookies and they will have an impact on the field. They've flashed potential, which is a big reason for the selections as most of them aren’t going to have big roles this year.
Jones will replace one of the three defensive linemen that are free agents after this year. Drew Lock is being developed for the future.
Risner and Fant are really the only rookies that are going to have a big role in the offense this year.
Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel.