Reply to JonT:  Nods

This was a reply in JonTs thread until I realized that the comments editor doesn't recognize table HTML, so I decided to put it here instead.

POS/Status Starter Backup PS IR Cut ?
QB Cutler Ramsey Finnerty   Hackney  
RB Henry, Young Hall, Pittman Alridge Torain Bell  
FB Sapp Hillis        
WR Marshall,Jackson Colbert,Parker Lorne   Martinez, Russell, Mcdaniel  
SWR Stokely Royal     Jacobs, Shepherd  
TE Graham,Scheffler Jackson     Mustard, Pierce  
T Clady,Kuper Pears,Harris Polumbus      
G Hamilton,Holland Gandy Ericson   Snell, Alexander  
C Nalen Weigmann   Lichtensteiger    
DT Robertson,Thomas McKinley,Powell Harris   Peterson Mallard
DE DOOM,Engleberger,Ekuban Moss,Crowder     Carrington,Birdine,Clemons,Jenkins  
WILL DJ Winborn     Archer  
SAM Boss Webster     Green Woodyard
MIKE Niko Larsen       Beck
CB Champ,Bly Foxworth, Williams     Morton, Reid  
NB Paymah          
SAF Lynch,Hamza Mcree,Manuel Barrett,   VaughnRogers  
K Prater X X X Hartley  
P Paulescu X Kern X Baugher  
LS Leach X X X X  
Totals 30(53) 23(53) 8   ALL=90  

QB: Finnerty beats out Hackney with character and longer term PS eligibility. (3 of 61)

RB: If Henry can get healthy and get into camp, then he and Young will make up the starting duo, while Pittman and Hall serve as the breather/insurance. Alridge should make it to the PS and barring a Henry trip to IR, I expect Torain to be worked out with an eye towards stashing him on IR. (8 of 61)

FB: Sapp edges out Hillis due to experience, but Hillis' versatility and raw talent make him too risky to put on PS waivers. Bell's days are numbered, and he will need to beat out either Hall, Alridge or Torain. (10 of 61)

WR: Marshall and Jackson, with Colbet and Parker as the insurance/#3. Martinez is in direct competition with Parker, and to be honest, I think he has the potential for the kind of growth that could edge Parker out, but the 2007 Martinez model won't be quite good enough. Lorne easily makes the practice squad as an interesting QB/WR project. A batch of cuts here and at SWR amount to spring cleaning for the Broncos. (15 of 61)

SWR: Stokely and Royal easily make this tandem. (17 of 61)

TE: Graham and Scheff/Jackson form the core. If Mustard could barely make the team last year, I don't really see how they will find roster space for him this year with the addition of so much critical talent. (20 of 61)

T: Clady, Pears, Kuper and Harris. This is a damn fine group of young men if you ask me. There will be some struggles early on, but this group has the kind of depth, ability and character that makes a coach grin ear to ear. Polumbus is a typical, undersized Denver o-lineman, and should make the PS easily. (25 of 61)

G: This group is now the weakest part of the oline, in terms of long term planning, but is still pretty darn strong in its own right, and behind only C as the deepest most experienced and most talented part of the line. Holland and Hamilton are in, and I'm not really worried about Hamilton's injury, in terms of his getting his job back. I also don't think it affects his longegevity any more than his age already does. He has the experience and intelligence to protect himself. Gandy is talented and not too old, and is definitely an upgrade over Snell and Alexander, but that doesn't mean he will make it. I give him the edge, with Ericson easily making it to the PS. (29 of 61)

C: Nalen should actually be challenged by Weigmann in camp, but I would be a fool not to count on Nalen to keep his spot. Regardless, Weigmann is awesome depth. I think Lichtensteiger (I'm sorry but I just can't use that nickname any more) is another player that will be stashed on IR as part of a long term roster plan, regardless of whether he is ready to play or not. Recent surgery on both pectoral muscles says that isn't really a stretch of my imagination. (31 of 61)

DT: This is a tricky area to me. We can't just say we are better and cut all our inusrance loose. One the other hand, a lot of the D-line insurance made the team in a situation that can only be termed a "talent vacuum". I think we can count on a top four of McKinley, Robertson, Thomas and Powell. While I am confident that that group can be a leaps and bounds improvement over last year, I really don't think we can ride into 2008 without some insurance. I am not 100% positive about Harris' practice squad eligibility, but he only was activated for 4 games last year, which I think comes in right under the wire. If he is eligible, he is an easy choice for the PS. I don't think Peterson's experience outwieghs the gap in talent between him and some of the younger players, so I see him being the cut. Mallard is, pardon the expression, an odd duck. If he could be a quality long snapper, I think he makes the team over Leach. If not, I'm not sure that his tenacity could earn him a spot in the rotation. Bad for Mallard, good for the Broncos. (36 of 61)

DE: DOOM, Moss, and Crowder are givens, while Ekuban should be able to prove that he can still be solid tying up teams strongside rushing attack. I won't get into too much about Engleberger, except to note that no one ever thinks he will be around, and he is always around. I have no doubt that he makes the 53. Another batch of dead wood will get trimmed, consisting of a lot of future's contracts. (41 of 61)

LB: DJ without question is the #1 WILL while Winborn should be able to lock out the likes of Green and Archer, though Archer could surprise. Niko and Boss round out the starters, and as much as we disliked Webster at SAM last year, he will benefit from moving back to MIKE, and could even challenge for the starting job. Larsen will compete at MIKE as well, and will be the third LB looked at for replacement duty, regardless of position, as Webster and Winborn should start ahead of him at any of the three spots. Larsen could bring the Kieth Burns presence back to the field on STs. Beck and Woodyard are tough to get a handle on. Beck was a solid young STer, and to make this team, he will need to prove that he can be even more. Woodyard is less than ideal in every category except heart, where he blows away the competition. Both would be fine additions to the Broncos, but there is space logically for neither. I will be very interested in seeing how this plays out. Regarding Woodyard, and his many admirers, I will say only that I admire his heart, but heart won't get him on an NFL football field, it will only sustain him when he gets there. I'm hoping for the best though. (47 of 61)

CB: Champ and Bly, easily nab the top, with Foxworth and Williams providing the Specialty formations and maybe a little punt/kickoff returning. Foxy is in the unique position of being the top guy to be the third corner, but only the 2nd guy for the standard 3rd corner reponsibility, heavy nickel coverage. Morton and Reid have light years to travel before they could expect to break into this group, but you can bet that they will be trying there hardest to show they have something that Jack Williams doesn't have. (51 of 61)

NB: Paymah is the top nickle back, specifically the heavy nickle, and I felt that it deserved to be its own position like slot receiver, since it is such a featured formation anymore. Foxy would be the backup here as well, though I didn't see the need to list him twice. The Foxy/Paymah dynamic is an interesting one. Paymah would get more calls as the 3rd corner in on nickle packages, but if a starter went down it would be Foxy stepping in. Aj Smith in SD might want 3 CBs in today's league, but for now, we have 4, and it should work out great. (52 of 61)

SAF: Returning now to another position that should see some great competition, SAF has NO sure things. I love Lynch as much as the next guy, but starting last year, he entered a pahse of his football life where it is only logical to question whether his experience and ability outwiegh the upside of a younger player. That is the business side of the sport and a glimpse of its true nature: competition between TEAMS not individuals. Lynch is one horse I would bet on every day of the week, but this isn't about Lynch, its about the Broncos. Hamza didn't have a complete regression at the end of last year. His coverage was as good as it had been since he was named a starter, and his play recognition steadily improved all year. But his TACKLING really fell off late, but so did Gold's, Webster's, and if he hadn't have been injured, probably Lynch's as well. If DTs are meant to keep their LBs clean, then we had the filthiest group of LBs in the league last year. So filthy in fact, that a lot of the dirt slopped onto our DBs as well. I think Hamza has the edge for full-time FS, with Lynch and McRee splitting time at SS. Manuel stands out as a FS challenger, but he won't stand a chance of breaking the lineup if Hamza can show that the tackling problems are something he can overcome. Despite Barret's ability, I really think he will benefit from being on the PS, but I also think that we would be putting him at risk if we tried to move him there. We may end up choosing between Manuel and Barret, and while that may be an easy choice for a lot of us, it won't be very easy for the Broncos. Barrett is NOT better than Manuel right now, but he could eventually be better than 95% of the safeties in this league. What happens at the top of this depth chart could go a long way towards determining Barrett's future with the Broncos, but he can make strides by putting the coaches minds at ease when it comes to his personal work habits, his ability to absorb the coach's input, and most of all by demonstrating CONSISTENCY day in and day out in practice. Vaughn isn't much of a loss, but the Broncos have time and coaching into Rogers, and if they could stash him on the PS for one last year, I think they would jump at the chance. Manuel is the lynchpin in this group, and his performance will affect ALL of the safeties. (57 of 61)

K, P, LS: I think Prater earns the job over Hartley, but I want to first acknowledge a lot of the great info that the MHR community has brought to consideration for everyone on Hartley. I think they are both in the same boat, only Prater has been in it longer, so I give him the edge, but I acknowledge that it could go both ways for better or for worse. At P I think Paulescu barely wins the job over Kern and Baugher. Kern gets stashed on the PS while Baugher looks elsewhere for work. I am of the opinion that there is no roster space for a person like Baugher on the Broncos. Leach rides the NFL equivalent of a gravy train with biscuit wheels. For no other reason than top to bottom competition, I really hope Mallard can get a handle on longsnapping. (61 of 61)

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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