The 2022 Denver Broncos hype train has reached an increasingly high rate of speed this offseason with Russell Wilson serving as the conductor. Thanks to the whirlwind arrival of the veteran quarterback, orange-and-blue-speckled optimism is as feverish as it's been in more than a half-decade when the franchise housed the Lombardi Trophy.
But, in NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks' estimation, the train ought to be derailed, its parts sold for scrap. Optimism should make way for realism — his realism — about the Wilson-led outfit.
"When I look at this team from one to 53, I feel like they are at the bottom of the division. I look at what the Kansas City Chiefs have done, the Chargers and Raiders, and I do not see a more talented team," Brooks said Tuesday on NFL Network's Total Access. "Yes, Russell Wilson certainly closes the gap at the quarterback position. But the rest of the teams are absolutely loaded. Defensively, they're loaded. Every team we've mentioned in this division has two pass-rushers that can get after it. We talk about the wide receivers and the playmakers — I think if we rank all those positions out, the Broncos would finish at the bottom of the pack in all of those categories.
"So unless [Wilson] is able to pull a rabbit out of the hat, I just don't see the Broncos closing the gap and being a very competitive, championship-caliber team."
It's reasonable to express caution over the Broncos due to their inexperience, particularly among a coaching staff where head man Nathaniel Hackett, offensive coordinator Justin Outten, defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, and special teams boss Dwayne Stukes are all in first-time roles. It's reasonable to adopt a believe-it-when-I-see-it posture with an organization that hasn't sniffed the playoffs since 2015, nor a winning record since 2016.
It, however, is unreasonable to dismiss this year's Broncos squad from a personnel standpoint, denigrating Wilson's supporting cast (Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Albert Okwuegbunam, Greg Dulcich, Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon) and a defense which finished last season third in points per game — and which since was strengthened by the additions of edge rushers Randy Gregory and Nik Bonitto, linemen DJ Jones and Eyioma Uwazurike, and cornerbacks K'Waun Williams and Demarri Mathis.
Let's come back to this in January.
In the meantime, you already know what to do.
Follow Zack on Twitter @KelbermanNFL
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