High-profile draft picks, trades, another new quarterback: The Denver Broncos team taking the turf for this month’s preseason games is not the one you remember—and desperately miss—from the Super Bowl L win. Fortunately, these three fresh faces may fill the voids left by yesterseasons’ stars and lead the blue and orange back to the big game. We’d settle for a playoff berth, though.

Bradley Chubb, DE/LB, #55

Photo courtesy of Cal Sport Media/Alamy Stock Photo

Origin Story

After being named the best defensive player in college football last year, Chubb, a pass-rush specialist, was picked fifth overall by the Broncos in the 2018 draft.

Fun Fact

During his career at North Carolina State University, Chubb enjoyed trolling opponents (usually quarterbacks) by swiping their towels.

New Bronco BFF

Miller, who, despite offseason social media trouble (he posted pics of an endangered hammerhead shark he’d caught, spurring an ongoing investigation) shared a video of himself literally jumping with joy when Chubb was drafted.

Case Keenum, QB, #4

Photo courtesy of PA Photos/Alamy Stock Photo

Origin Story

Keenum, 30, was so-so in the NFL until his exceptional stint filling in for the Minnesota Vikings’ injured starter in 2017 led to a two-year, $36 million deal with the Broncos.

Fun Fact

In 2016, the HBO Hard Knocks crew captured Keenum’s wife, Kimberly, quizzing him on the LA Rams’ playbook, which she’d begun memorizing.

New Bronco BFF

Wide receiver (and former Pro Bowler) Demaryius Thomas, whose season reception totals have dipped over the past two years, from 105 to 83, while playing with less-than-stellar QBs.

Jake Butt, TE, #80

Photo courtesy of Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Origin Story

The University of Michigan All-American tore his ACL during the 2016 Orange Bowl, plummeting him to the fifth round of the 2017 draft and forcing him to miss his rookie year.

Fun Fact

The aptly named tight end was the subject of a pun-filled Jimmy Fallon monologue (“Butt would brag, but he doesn’t want to toot his own horn”).

New Bronco BFF

The Broncos’ offensive coordinator, Bill Musgrave, was elevated from quarterbacks coach late last year. He’d love another offensive weapon to emerge and ensure the promotion is permanent.

So Long, Farewell: 3 Notable Broncos Departures

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Aqib Talib

After four seasons in the Mile High City, the always-entertaining cornerback—remember when he poked Dwayne Allen in the eye, or stripped Michael Crabtree of his chain, or accidentally shot himself in the leg?—was traded to the Rams this spring.

Photo courtesy of ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Stock Photo

C.J. Anderson

The running back 5280 once lovingly dubbed “Denver’s round mound of pound”—and the Broncos’ leading rusher in 2017—was released, along with his $4.5 million salary, in mid-April. In May, he signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers.

Photo courtesy of iStock

Sports Authority Field at Mile High

Nearly two years after Sports Authority went bankrupt, the signs finally came off the stadium this past January. The arena will temporarily be called Broncos Stadium at Mile High until a long-term naming rights
deal is inked.