Unit-by unit analysis - defensive backs

Check ou who's returing at defensive back for the Denver Broncos.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- LCB Champ Bailey, RCB Andre Goodman, FS Renaldo Hill, SS Brian Dawkins. Backups -- CB Perrish Cox, S/CB Nate Jones, CB Syd'Quan Thompson, CB Cassius Vaughn, S David Bruton, S Darcel McBath, S Kyle McCarthy. The potential free agency of Bailey will be a top offseason storyline. He didn't have the interceptions of past years but proved to be a shutdown corner against the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Dwayne Bowe and Reggie Wayne in single coverage. Bailey's return is needed not only for his talent but because the rest of the secondary may also be in flux.

Goodman was dogged by quadriceps injuries all season and at age 32, could be cut.

Cox's off-field arrest for felony sexual assault could mean an NFL suspension. The Broncos love Dawkins' leadership but he isn't the impact playmaker he once was, with slower foot speed increasing the difficulty covering tight ends.

Hill has a tremendous work ethic but hasn't made many plays.

Jones provides needed versatility but he is only average in coverage and doesn't have the size to pack a wallop from the back end of the defense.

Safety will be a top priority in free agency and the draft. Thompson and Vaughn were pleasant surprises and provide depth and special-teams skills.



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