The Denver Broncos have officially released their first depth chart of the 2014 season. Denver plays their first preseason game Thursday night at home against the Seattle Seahawks, so it is obvious that this will not be the depth chart when the team opens up the regular season at home against the Indianapolis Colts. In fact, the Broncos have already suffered a blow when running back Montee Ball had to have an emergency appendectomy. Ball is expected to be back in time for the regular season opener, but he will miss significant reps during the preseason.
On the offensive side of the depth chart there are no surprises, with the exception that Ronnie Hillman is listed as Denver’s No. 2 running back. Going into training camp it was believed by many that C.J. Anderson would be Ball’s backup. However, Hillman has impressed coaches with his work thus far during training camp. Keep in mind, if Hillman begins to fumble the football in preseason games the running back depth chart will change.
On the defensive side of the depth chart everything is pretty much as expected as well. It will be interesting to see what will happen at the left defensive tackle position. Second-year player Sylvester Williams is on top of the depth chart after having a productive rookie season in 2013. Kevin Vickerson was very productive in 2013 before a hip injury ended his season. Vickerson was effective in terms of stopping the run and could easily be the starter in 2014 if he is 100 percent healthy.
As for special teams, Omar Bolden is first on the depth chart to return kickoffs, while Wes Welker is first on the depth chart to return punts. Somebody needs to step up during the preseason to prove they are capable of returning punts. Welker has suffered too many concussions and will be taking plenty of hits after catching passes from Peyton Manning. Welker has no business returning punts, and that is one of the biggest issues Denver needs to take care of leading up to Week 1.