Broncos Vikings Football Hamler Williams

Denver Broncos wide receiver K.J. Hamler (1) celebrates with teammate Javonte Williams (33) after scoring on an 80-yard touchdown reception during the first half of an NFL preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MINNEAPOLIS — The Broncos crushed the Vikings, 33-6, Saturday in Minnesota, with several guys standing out and others falling behind. 

As roster cuts near, here's whose stock rose and fell this week: 

Stock up

CB Pat Surtain II: Surtain lived up to expectations in his first game with the Broncos. His first-quarter pass breakup and second quarter pick-6 was all he needed to prove he'll be a real contributor in Denver's secondary this season. But not only did his stock go up for this season, but he looks like he could be a future defensive star for the Broncos. 

S P.J. Locke: Maybe the biggest surprise of the game was Locke. Entering his second year in the NFL, Locke looked like he belonged, starting alongside his former Texas teammate and rookie safety Caden Sterns. Locke totaled five tackles and had three pass deflections. 

WR KJ Hamler: When Hamler is healthy, boy, is he a difference maker for the Broncos. His 80-yard touchdown catch showcased his speed, and while it came against Minnesota's second-team defense, there aren't too many players in the NFL who can keep pace with Hamler. His big-play ability gives Denver a weapon it didn't have last season, as Hamler was injured most of the year. 

Honorable mention: RB Javonte Williams, C/G Quinn Meinerz, WR Trinity Benson, S Caden Sterns, OLB Andre Mintze 

Stock down

RT Cameron Fleming: Brought in to compete for the starting right tackle job, Fleming has been a bit of a disappointment through the first two weeks of training camp and now in the first preseason game. He's gotten almost no reps with the first team in practice and struggled in the run game and pass protection Saturday. If Fleming wants to make the team, he'll need to have a much better performance against Seattle next week. 

WR Tyrie Cleveland: Cleveland has had a rough training camp so far, having missed most of it with a back injury. And he didn't exactly make up for it Saturday, having only one target and no catches. With a guy like Trinity Benson, who caught two touchdowns Saturday and is having a great camp, Cleveland is going to have to start making an impact in practice and in preseason games if he wants to make the 53-man roster for a second-straight season. 

WR Diontae Spencer: Spencer didn't play Saturday, but it's safe to say his spot as the Broncos' return man is officially in the danger zone. Similar to Cleveland, Spencer has missed time this camp with an injury (knee). And with other guys proving their worth on offense and special teams — including Hamler and Benson — Spencer can't afford to miss any more time before the season if he wants to be playing in Denver. 

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Game analysis and insights from The Gazette sports staff including columns by Woody Paige and Paul Klee.

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