Some Clarification is in Order: Roster Trouble In Denver

We all know about some the of the issues facing Denver right now: the quarterback situation, a struggling secondary, questions about the run game, and others. But one issue that I've found seems to be something that is forgotten, the Broncos are a team about to lose a massive chunk of it's roster.

"What!?" You may ask, "teams lose players every year" and while that is true, I don't think fans realize the coming collapse, roster edition. So let's take a look at the Broncos roster, how it will be affected over the next two years, and what areas are of immediate concern. Let's jump.

One thing fans rarely pay attention to is the long term, especially when it comes to contracts and team depth, so that is why I wanted to bring this to the focus today. So when it comes to long term planning, coaches and GM's look at roster depth and contracts and when they end to plan who to draft and who to pick up in free agency. We are going to sit down and put our general manager hats on and look at the Broncos roster. Let's start with the 2011 Broncos roster:


2011 Roster:

* Names in Bold are in their last contract year *

OFFENSE

QB

RB

FB

WR1

WR2

TE

Kyle Orton

Willis McGahee

Spencer Larsen

Brandon Lloyd

Eric Decker

Daniel Fells

Brady Quinn

Knowshon Moreno


Matt Willis

Eddie Royal

Julius Thomas

Tim Tebow

Lance Ball


Demaryius Thomas

Quan Cosby

Virgil Green






Dante Rosario







66% Roster Lost

33% Lost

100% Lost

50% Lost

25% Lost

Starter Lost

No Starter Lost

Starter Lost

1 Starter Lost

Starter Lost







LT

LG

C

RG

RT

K

Ryan Clady

Zane Beadles

J.D. Walton

Chris Kuper

Orlando Franklin

Matt Prater

Chris Clark

Russ Hochstein

Manny Ramirez


Tony Hills




Lonnie Paxton










50% Lost

50% Lost

0% Lost

0% Lost

0% Lost

100% Lost

No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost

Starter Lost







DEFENSE

DE

DT

MLB

WLB

SLB


Elvis Dumervil

Brodrick Bunkley

Joe Mays

D.J. Williams

Von Miller


Robert Ayers

Kevin Vickerson

Nate Irving

Wesley Woodyard

Mario Haggan


Jason Hunter

Marcus Thomas





Derrick Harvey

Ryan McBean






Mitch Unrein











50% Lost

60% Lost

50% Lost

50% Lost

50% Lost



Starter Lost

Starter Lost

No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost








CB

FS

SS

P



Champ Bailey

Rahim Moore

Brian Dawkins

Britton Colquitt



Andre' Goodman

David Bruton

Quinton Carter




Cassius Vaughn






Jonathan Wilhite






Chris Harris












0% Lost

50% Lost

0% Lost

100% Lost



No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost



 

Notes:

  • We lose 8 starters:
    - Kyle Orton
    - Spencer Larseon
    - Brandon Lloyd
    - Daniel Fells
    - Matt Prater
    - Brodrick Bunkley
    - Joe Mays
    - Britton Colquitt
  • We lose 12 backups/rotational players:
    - Brady Quinn
    - Lance Ball
    - Matt Willis
    - Eddie Royal
    - Chris Clark
    - Russ Hochstein
    - Jason Hunter
    - Derrick Harvey
    - Marcus Thomas
    - Ryan McBean
    - Wesley Woodyard
    - Mario Haggan
  • We lose 100% of our starting special teams guys in Prater and Colquitt.
  • We lose 50% of all out linebackers.
  • We lose 56% of all our defensive lineman.
  • We lose 50% of all our wide receivers.
  • Our secondary and offensive line remain in good conditions, losing no starters.
  • Going into the 2012 draft and FA, there is an immediate need, just in terms of roster spots, for these positions:
    - linebacker
    - defensive tackle
    - defensive end
    - wide receiver
    - quarterback
    - fullback
    - kicker
    - punter

2012 Roster:

* Names in Bold are in their last contract year *
* - signify a roster spot that lost a player *

OFFENSE

QB

RB

FB

WR1

WR2

TE

-

Willis McGahee

-

-

Eric Decker

-

-

Knowshon Moreno


-

-

Julius Thomas

Tim Tebow

-


Demaryius Thomas

Quan Cosby

Virgil Green






Dante Rosario







0% Roster Lost

0% Lost


0% Lost

0% Lost

No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost


No Stater Lost

No Starter Lost







LT

LG

C

RG

RT

K

Ryan Clady

Zane Beadles

J.D. Walton

Chris Kuper

Orlando Franklin

-

-

-

Manny Ramirez


Tony Hills




Lonnie Paxton










100% Lost

50% Lost

0% Lost

0% Lost

50% Lost


Starter Lost

No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost








DEFENSE

DE

DT

MLB

WLB

SLB


Elvis Dumervil

Ty Warren

-

D.J. Williams

Von Miller


Robert Ayers

Kevin Vickerson

Nate Irving

-

-


-

-





-

-






Mitch Unrein











0% Lost

66% Lost

0% Lost

0% Lost

0% Lost


No Starter Lost

2 Starters Lost

No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost








CB

FS

SS

P



Champ Bailey

Rahim Moore

Brian Dawkins

-



Andre' Goodman

David Bruton

Quinton Carter




Cassius Vaughn






Jonathan Wilhite






Chris Harris












20% Lost

50% Lost

0% Lost




No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost

No Starter Lost




 

Notes:

  • We lose 3 starters:
    - Ryan Clady
    - Kevin Vickerson
    - Ty Warren (who returns from IR after this season)
  • We lose 3 backups/rotational players:
    - Tony Hills
    - Cassius Vaughn
    - David Bruton
  • At this point we are thin on the offensive line, losing a starter and a backup this season. We also have no starting left tackle.
  • We lose 2 of our remaining 3 defensive tackles.
  • Secondary and running back are about the only positions that remain somewhat solid, but at this point, both Goodman, Dawkins and Champ will be near the end of their careers.
  • Going into the 2013 draft and FA, there is an immediate need, just in terms of roster spots, for these positions:
    - linebacker
    - defensive tackle
    - defensive end
    - wide receiver
    - quarterback
    - kicker
    - punter
    - offensive lineman (both tackles and guards)
    - fullback

2013 Roster:

* Now I won't include who will be leaving in 2013, just the state of the roster *

Offense:

Quarterback:
- Tim Tebow
- 66% lost

Running Back:
- Knowshon Moreno
- Willis McGahee
- 33% lost

Fullback:
- None
- 100% lost

Wide Receiver:
- Eric Decker
- Demaryius Thomas
- Quan Crosby

Tight End:
- Julius Thomas
- Virgil Green
- Dante Rosario
- 25% lost

Offensive Tackle:
-Orlando Franklin
- 75% lost

Offensive Guard:
- Zane Beadles
- Chris Kuper
- 33% lost

Center:
- J.D. Walton
- Manny Ramerez
- Lonnie Paxton
- 0% lost

Kicker:
- None
- 100% lost

Defense:

Defensive End:
- Elvis Dumervil
- Rober Ayers
- 50% lost

Defensive Tackle:
- Mitch Urein
- 80% lost

Linebacker:
- Von Miller
- Nate Irving
- D.J. Williams
- 50% lost

Cornerback:
- Champ Bailey
- Andre Goodman
- Jonathan Wilhite
- Chris Harris
- 20% lost

Safety:
- Brian Dawkins
- Quinton Carter
- Rahim Moore
- 25% lost

Punter:
- None
- 100% lost

Notes:

  • Over two off seasons we lose 11 starters and 15 backups/rotational players for a total of 26 players, or about half the roster.
  • We are 4th in total roster loss in the next two years.
  • We lose 50% or more of these roster spots:
    - quarterback
    - fullback
    - wide receiver
    - offensive tackle
    - kicker
    - defensive end
    - defensive tackle
    - linebacker
    - punter
  • Over these two years we lose most of our Pro Bowl talent.

Review:

So let's just conclude this quickly, while the Broncos quarterback situation is on the forefront of everyone's minds, the Broncos actually have much bigger problems on the horizon, and unless EFX are very active this up coming off season, we could be in for some major struggles. Add in the aging of key players like Brian Dawkins, DJ Williams, Champ Bailey, Andre Goodman, and Willis McGahee the Broncos may cut ties with any of these players before their contracts are up.

My suggestions for the Broncos FO this off season would include this:

- Draft at least one defensive tackle very high
- Draft a corner very high
- Draft a mid round quarterback
- Resign Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal
- Resign Matt Prater and Britton Colquitt
- Resign Jason Hunter and Brodrick Bunkley (or find replacements in FA or the draft)
- Resign Wesley Woodyard and Mario Haggan (or find replacements in FA or the draft)

All I know is that I'm scared right now, not because of who will play QB next week, but because we are going to go through one of the biggest upheavals in the NFL this off season the the off season of 2013. Let's hear some of your suggestions on what the Broncos should do this off season.

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