With Matt Prater serving his four-game suspension, the Broncos went out and acquired Brandon McManus from the New York Giants for a conditional seventh-round draft pick. The condition is that McManus must be on the roster after Prater’s suspension is up, but the team has made it clear that they will welcome back Prater with open arms in time for the Week 6 matchup with the New York Jets.
McManus could be the kicker to help the Broncos’ special teams for their first four games, which are not exactly cakewalks (Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals). He lost a very close battle with Josh Brown for the kicking duties, which speaks volumes about his production. Saying this, the Broncos will be in great hands with McManus. He is a young player with a strong leg, and that is the type of kicker they were looking for. During the 2014 preseason, he made two field goals of 46 and 47 yards and all but one of his kickoffs were touchbacks. During his time at Temple University, he was the team’s all-time leading scorer.
Having a strong, young kicker for the first four games while Prater serves his suspension perhaps puts the Broncos in a better position. If any of their first four games comes down to a game winning field goal, the team should not hesitate to put their confidence and faith in the second-year player. He will audition for the team during Thursday’s preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys, but I foresee him passing his audition and helping the Broncos get off to a strong start to the beginning of the season.