With TC 6 weeks away, I'm going to roll out my last part of the Battles...Special Teams. In the 1st 2 installments I went over who I thought would make the team on offence and defence. Know I will go over who I think will be starting on the special teams.
Kicker: Matt Prater. The only spot without any battles is the kicker. Prater (5-10 188 25) has proved over the last 2 years to be reliable. Over those 2 years he has hit 55 of 69 FG (79.7%) and 71 of 72 PAT's (98.6%). Of the 55 FG's 7 have been 50+ yards, and the only misses PAT was the last game in 2008 in San Diego. Last year he was 9th best in FG% (20+ attempts). I was with alot of other people begging Bowlen and Shanny to bring back Elam, but Matt has proved to be just as good, so far.
Punter: Colquitt -vs- Trapasso. Niether one has made a single punt in the NFL, so it's hard to pick one based on what they have done. Colquitt (6-3 205 25) was an undrafted player from Tennessee. At Tennessee he averaged 42.6 yards per punt. He was suspended for the 1st 5 games in 2008, his senior year, for driving under the influence and leaving the sence of an accident. His achievements include: 3rd team Freshman All-American in 2005, 1st team All-American in 2006(Sophomore year), and 2nd team All-American in 2007(Junior year). Trapasso ( 5-11 225 24) was also an undrafted player from Ohio State. At Ohio State he averaged 41.0 yards per punt and averaged 19.5 punts inside the 20 per season. He was a runner-up in the Ray Guy award in 2007. As far as who makes the team...IMO I would go with Colquitt.
Long Snapper: Lonie Paxton. Paxton ( 6-2 281 32) came from NE last year for a crap load of money (1.66M this year). Who pays that kind of money for a long snapper...McDaniels. No complants though, never had to talk about him last year and for a long snapper the less the talk about him the better he is.
Kick Returner and Punt returner: Royal -vs- McKinley -vs- Cox -vs- Willis. Royal (5-10 182 24) had one the Broncos best years as far as returners go averaging 23.9 and a touch on kicks and 11.2 and a touch on punts. He could do this for the rest of his career and be successful, but we need him to be our slot WR. Think of Rod Smith, steady WR with the ability to fill in for a returner when needed or be used late in games to give the team a bust. McKinley's (6-0 183 23) rookie season was cut short because of an injury, but this year he will have to help on ST's to make the team, to many good WR, IMO. Last year he averaged 22.6 on kicks and 10.7 on punts. Cox (5-11 195 23) is our rookie this year who had a good college football career both as a corner and a returner. For his career at Oklahoma State he averaged 24.0 on kicks with 4 touches, and 11.6 on punts with 2 touches. Could be the answer to Royal going all in on WR. Big play ability, but he might be sneaking up on the nickle spot, so we will have to see. Willis (6-0 183 23) as never returned a kick or punt in college or in the NFL, but he is one of the fastest Broncos we have. He ran for UCLA's track team in college. My pick right know would be Cox for KR and McKinley for PR.
So there you have it all 53 players to make a team.