By Court Zierk @courtzierk on July 31, 2014
This prediction was much tougher to make than any other year I can recall. The Broncos are absolutely loaded with depth, and having to trim the roster down to 53 players proved impossible without letting some really talented guys get away. But at the end of the day, tough decisions need to be made, so here is my prediction for the Broncos' final depth chart.
Peyton Manning (starting QB)
The only question for the Broncos at QB is whether they will keep two or three players. They have consistently kept three on the final roster during John Fox’s tenure, but I expect that to change this year given the Broncos' vast depth and need to fill other positions. The wild card here would be if the Broncos picked up a more veteran QB to put on the final 53. I hear Kyle Orton is available.
Montee Ball (starting RB)
The Broncos let Knowshon Moreno walk in the offseason, and while Ball showed that he is ready to take on the bulk of the carries, questions remain about who will replace what Moreno offered in pass protection. CJ Anderson was having a spectacular preseason last year before he was injured, so expect him to make the roster. And don’t be surprised to see Kapri Bibbs make it as a UDFA onto the final 53 as well.
Julius Thomas (starting TE)
The Broncos have only kept four tight ends on the final roster the past two seasons, and that trend will continue. The only surprise here is Gerell Robinson, who was a wide receiver in college on the receiving end of countless Brock Osweiler passes. Robinson has bulked up significantly and has been impressive at camp so far.
Demaryius Thomas (Starting WR)
Emmanuel Sanders (Starting WR)
Wes Welker (Starting WR)
The receiving corps is absolutely stacked. Sanders will start opposite of DT, but he will also see a lot of reps in the slot as well. Latimer will eventually replace much of Decker’s production, and he is a bigger, faster version. We will see a slight drop off in production from Welker, but he will be critical in short yardage situations. Burse is explosive and will be one of the surprise players to make the final roster.
Ryan Clady (Starting LT)
Orlando Franklin (Starting LG)
Manny Ramirez (Starting C)
Louis Vasquez (Starting RG)
Chris Clark (Starting RT)
The lack of offensive line depth was painfully apparent in the Broncos' Super Bowl loss. Clady will be back, and when healthy, he is the best LT in the game. Vasquez is an All-Pro. Signing Montgomery adds quality veteran depth at center. Franklin was moved to guard, so his progress will be interesting to watch. Paradis and Schofield are rookies, but they could see some time depending on how the starting unit comes together.
Derek Wolfe (Starting LDE)
Sylvester Williams (Starting LDT)
Terrance Knighton (Starting C)
DeMarcus Ware (Starting RDE)
This has become one of the Broncos' strongest positions. Wolfe and Vickerson will be coming back after missing large portions of last season. Jackson showed flashes of brilliance in Wolfe's absence. If Knighton comes to camp in shape and Williams takes a step forward in year two, they will have one of the stoutest interior defensive lines in the league. Adding DeMarcus Ware takes focus off of Miller and creates a potentially vicious pass rush.
Von Miller (Starting SLB)
Nate Irving (Starting MLB)
Danny Trevathan (Starting WLB)
All eyes are on Von Miller to help anchor a defense that was highly scrutinized last season. Marshall is someone else who has been turning heads in camp and taking reps in sub-packages. Trevathan emerged as the Broncos' best linebacker in Miller's absence. McCray is turning heads in camp, but the best battle will be for the MLB spot between Irving and Barrow. This is Irving's best chance to solidify his future on this team.
Aqib Talib (Starting LCB)
Chris Harris Jr. (Nickel CB)
Kayvon Webster (Starting RCB)
T.J. Ward (Starting SS)
Quinton Carter (Starting FS)
This has become the Broncos' deepest position almost overnight. Harris Jr. is returning from a torn ACL, but all indications are that he is 100 percent and I think he will emerge as their best corner. Talib and Ward add some much-needed physicality to this defense. The biggest surprise will be Quinton Carter, who has been on IR for two years now, but word on the street is that he is back with a vengeance.
Britton Colquitt (Starting P)
Matt Prater (Starting K)
Aaron Brewer (Starting LS)
Brewer has the dubious distinction of being the lowest rated player on Madden 25, but he has a role on this team as a long snapper. Isaiah Burse or Omar Bolden will return kickoffs. Wes Welker and Emmanuel Sanders have been taking snaps on punt returns. The Broncos won't carry a return specialist like they have in the past with Trindon Holliday. They will make use of their position players.
With this much talent on the Broncos' roster, there are inevitably going to be some tough decisions to make. All of these players will get picked up by other teams and will have a place in the NFL next season.
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