5 - Eric Banks, DE
Eric Banks was one name that surprised me on Friday, as he was a member of that “weak” defensive line that I basically wrote off over the summer months. Banks was shaken up early in the game, but he returned and put together a solid performance.
Banks only logged one tackle, but he had a pair of pass breakups and he also appeared to be in on several plays throughout the evening. While Banks was an afterthought early on, I would love to see him get extended playing time this week.
6 - Cameron Thomas, EDGE
Cameron Thomas collapsed the pocket a couple of times when he got a chance, and ended up finishing the game with three tackles, a sack, a quarterback hit, and a tackle behind the line. If there was a preseason award for Defensive Player of the Game last week, it was Thomas, and if he can keep up this performance, look for the EDGE rusher to see more time in the rotation.
This week, he needs to get more playing time vs. the Chiefs starters to have a chance to compete for the top spot on the depth chart. If he gets a longer look, expect Thomas to take full advantage of it.
7 - Nolan Cooney, P
On Friday night, Cooney had just one punt compared to Matt Haack’s four, but he more than made the most of it, pinning the Broncos back inside their 20. It was something Haack failed to do in his four punts, and that alone should give Cooney more of a look this week.
It’s not often that you see a pair of punters in such an exciting battle to land a spot, as one is often the undisputed favorite while the other is simply auditioning for the league’s other 31 teams. But Cooney has made this a battle worth following this coming week.
(Statistics provided by ESPN.com)