For the past few years, the Denver Broncos have been young in the secondary other than veterans Champ Bailey and Mike Adams. For most of last season, the secondary was great with young, unproven players who stepped up and made huge strides as starters, but there were times when their inconsistency showed and they gave up a few too many big plays late in the season and ended their season a little earlier than they expected.
This year the Broncos have brought in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to compete with Bailey and Chris Harris for a starting cornerback role and the odd man left out will be hoping he wins the number three corner spot with Tony Carter and Omar Bolden battling for it as well. Let’s don’t forget that the Broncos also drafted Kayvon Webster in the third round in April.
It’s almost a garuntee that Bailey will be their number one corner, but the rest of the positions will be up for grabs. Bailey ended his 14th season with 66 tackles, two interceptions and nine passes defended, but he has a hard time piling up huge numbers because of the fact that opposing teams throw his way as little as possible.
Harris started opposite Bailey for most of the 2012 season and ended his second year as a pro with 61 tackles, two and a half sacks, three interceptions, 12 passes defended and two touchdowns. He will definitely be the front runner to start after his impressive sophomore season.
Cromartie has played five seasons, three with the Arizona Cardinals and two with the Philadelphia Eagles, and has averaged around 50 tackles, four interceptions and 18 passes defended. He’s a solid all-around corner who will be pushing Harris for the starting role.
Carter played well as the third corner in 15 games last season and compiled 27 tackles, two interceptions, 12 passes defended and one touchdown. Carter will be in his fifth season after by far his most productive as a pro in 2012.
Then there are the two youngsters, Bolden and Webster. Bolden will be in his second season, but he didn’t find the field much as a rookie. He was a fourth-round pick out of Arizona State in last year’s draft and the Broncos feel that he can be a starter in the league at some point. Webster was drafted in the third round of this year’s draft out of South Florida and the Broncos also see him in their long term plans.
The Broncos have also started some conversations with veteran free agent defensive back Charles Woodson and if he was to come to town, Denver would be loaded with veterans and young talent, but it sure would throw a wrinkle into trying to guess where all these guys will fit into the plans for the 2013 season.