The Broncos cancelled their final day of mandatory minicamp Thursday, opting instead for a Field Day, giving the players one day of fun before they return for training camp July 27.
With the team's offseason activities officially over, here's five takeaways from minicamp:
Lock vs Bridgewater neck-and-neck
Through five practices the media has been able to watch, the quarterback competition between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater appears to be neck-and-neck. Both have had their good and bad days, with Bridgewater being more consistent and Lock showing the potential to be great, while also reverting to bad habits.
As coach Vic Fangio and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has said since acquiring Bridgewater to compete with Lock, this battle won't be determined in June, but in August during training camp and preseason games. And right now, it seems to be even going into training camp.
“When we look at it, I’m kind of looking at it generally to when this guy is in there, are less bad things happening? When he makes a mistake, is it catastrophic, or is it something we can correct?" Shurmur said. "It’s all the things you look at and it’s why it’s important that you practice. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a coordinated effort and it really goes through the eyes of the quarterback, and a lot of times, how he executes can help the rest of team play better. There’s obviously the objective and then the subjective stuff at we look at it.”
Jeudy poised for big season
If you had to pick one player who's stood out the most this offseason, it's wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.
Going into his second season, Jeudy looks like a superstar. Few times during OTAs or minicamp he wasn't open and not once — at least while the media was watching — did a drop a pass, which was one of the few knocks he had as a rookie. If he plays like he has in practice, Jeudy could be looking at a Pro Bowl-type season.
“I think Jerry has really done an outstanding job in practice," Shurmur said. "He’s really taken what we saw last year in practice and in games and really worked on it. It’s a good challenge every day running against the secondary that we have and that we put on the field. Jerry has been out there being very competitive. He’s made his plays and I can see growth every day.”
Secondary looks as advertised
No position unit has received more hype this offseason than the Broncos' secondary, which has been revamped since the end of the 2020 season. The additions of veteran cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby, along with rookie Patrick Surtain II, has the Broncos feeling and looking like it has the potential to be on the of the best in league.
"With the experience and the vets we have and the front we have, we can definitely be the best if not top two or top three for sure," Darby said. "Like I said, that pass rush is getting back there. We have guys that know what they’re doing. Communication is going well and it’s still early. We still have a lot of time to get to know each other a lot more. We can be really special.”
Right tackle battle won't start until July
Maybe the biggest competition other than quarterback this offseason is at right tackle. After losing Ja'Wuan James to injury, the Broncos brought in veterans Bobby Massie and Cameron Fleming to compete with Calvin Anderson for the job.
Massie missed most of OTAs and all of minicamp with a pec injury, and Anderson also missed all of minicamp with an injury. Fleming got most of the reps at right tackle, with undrafted free agent Quinn Bailey also rotating in. That battle won't really start until Massie is back on the field in July, as he's the presumed frontrunner to win the job.
“Bobby is a vet, for sure. He was in Chicago when we played them a couple years back. He did a phenomenal job there," left tackle Garett Bolles said. "Cameron has done a phenomenal job. You have to remember Calvin Anderson did a phenomenal job for me last year. I know he’s right there, too. We have three guys competing for one spot. Those guys are going to do whatever they can. It’s a great competition, and let the better man win.”
Browning has time to make up
Rookie Ohio State linebacker Baron Browning hasn't practiced since rookie minicamp, after suffering a lower leg injury, but expectations for him are still high. Fangio said he'll be "full go" for training camp.
Browning was seen during mandatory minicamp in shorts and a jersey, and looks the part. He's a player many believe will compete for a starting spot at inside linebacker but is also someone who can play outside. Either way, it's expected Browning will see the field next season.
“We know he’s a multi-position player, and we’ve had guys like that where we’ll cross-train them," Donatell said. "Right now, it looks like he was presented to play inside backer. (Linebackers coach) Reggie Herring is a heck of a coach, and he’ll have him ready, and he’ll have him schooled up. Now we go to more mental reps and more classroom and more watching the film of other guys doing it, and we’ll have him ready for camp.”