2012 Denver Broncos Training Camp Preview: Offensive Line

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 18: Running back Willis McGahee #23 and offensive tackle Orlando Franklin #74 of the Denver Broncos celebrate McGahee's first quarter touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

2011 was a hard year to gauge the offensive line, but Pro Football Focus ranked the Denver Broncos 2011 offensive line as the 30th ranked unit in the NFL.

30. Denver Broncos (18th)

Run Rank 32nd, Pass Rank 22nd, Penalties Rank 23rd

Wait, how could this be since the Broncos picked up so many yards on the ground? Well, we’ve got a great piece coming up tomorrow that will examine the question of how a bad run blocking team can rush for so many yards, so I won’t spoil that.

(Here is the article mentioned above)

Best Player: In something of a surprise, it graded out as Orlando Franklin (-9.1). Denver’s best run blocker, Franklin had some issues in pass protection but improved as the season went on.

Worst Player: You kind of expect J.D. Walton (-28.9) to start getting better, but the man who finished second-from-the-bottom in Pass Blocking Efficiency ranking for centers had an even worse sophomore year. This is a crucial third year coming up for him.

The 2011 offensive line did help the Broncos have the best running game in the league, however it did struggle in pass blocking at times. It is a fairly young unit though. The average age of the starters is 25.6 years of age. The oldest of the group is guard Chris Kuper at the age of 29. On a positive note, the Broncos starters played just about an entire season together, before Kuper suffered an ugly ugly ankle Injury in the final game of the season. Their experience together should be beneficial this upcoming season.

Now lets look ahead to the 2012 offensive line. There was no major additions added, and i expect the same 5 that started the past season, to start week one of this season. However, i did lie a little bit. The Broncos did make an addition that will positively effect the O-Line. The Broncos as you know signed QB, Peyton Manning. In Indy, Manning did not always have the most talented line protecting him, but they always ranked among the leagues best. Mannings quick decision making makes it difficult for the opposing defense to get to him. So Manning will Instantly help our pass blocking. The only other notable addition the Broncos made to their offensive line this offseason is Guard/Center Phillip Blake, whom the Broncos selected in the Forth round of Aprils NFL Draft.


J.D. Walton

#50 / Center / Denver Broncos

6-3

305

Mar 24, 1987

Baylor


2012 will be an important year for Walton. He is entering his 3rd year, and needs to start making strides if he wants to continue to be the starter at Center. His only competition is rookie Phillip Blake. I would not be surprised if Broncos give Blake some 1st team reps if Walton struggles in camp, or even sign a veteran to compete with both. I believe the center position is one of the weaker spots on the Broncos roster right now, so hopefully Walton can improve this season.

WALTON AT A GLANCE:
• A third-year center who has opened all 32 regular-season games during his first two seasons as one of just three offensive linemen who entered the NFL in 2010 to accomplish that feat.
• Played every snap for the Broncos in 2011 and helped the team lead the NFL with a franchiserecord 2,632 rushing yards.
• Started all 16 games as a rookie in 2010 as just the fifth offensive lineman (only center) in franchise history to achieve that mark.
• Allowed only three sacks in 619 pass plays while missing just one snap during his rookie campaign.
• Started 36 games in three seasons at Baylor University, where he was credited with allowing only three sacks in 721 pass plays during his final two years.
• Honored as a first-team All-American during his final season at Baylor in 2009, becoming the school’s first offensive or defensive player to achieve that status in 18 years.
• Selected by the Broncos in the third round (80th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft.

CAREER TRANSACTIONS: Signed by Denver as a draft choice 6/17/10.

2011: Walton started all 32 regular-season games for the second consecutive season to begin his career and helped the Broncos set a team record with 164.5 rushing yards per game to lead the NFL... Started both of Denver’s postseason games.

2010:
Selected by the Broncos in the third round (80th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft, Walton started all 16 games to become the first rookie center in franchise history to accomplish that feat and just the fifth offensive lineman overall... Missed just one snap the entire season and joined four other rookie NFL offensive linemen as 16-game starters in 2010... Credited with allowing only three sacks in 619 pass plays that he participated in.

COLLEGE:
Walton started all 36 games played in three seasons at Baylor University, where he earned first-team All-America honors as a senior to become the school’s first offensive or defensive player in 18 seasons to achieve that distinction... Named one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy (nation’s best center) in 2009 and was named to the Big 12 Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll for the third consecutive year... Recorded 291 career knockdown/key blocks and allowed just three sacks in 721 pass plays during his final two seasons... Transferred to Baylor from Arizona State University, where he redshirted as a true freshman in 2005.

PERSONAL: Walton was a first-team All-District 9-5A and all-county selection as a senior at Allen High School in Allen, Texas, where he posted 79 pancake blocks during his final prep season... Majored in speech communications at Baylor... Justin Daniel Walton was born on March 24, 1987, in Lawton, Okla.

Via: Denver Broncos


Zane Beadles

#68 / Guard / Denver Broncos

6-4

305

Nov 19, 1986

Utah



Beadles like Walton needs to improve in 2012. I saw Beadles flash some skill in 2011, but he was very inconsistent. I watched Beadles make a key block in the run game, then a play later he was being blown up. It seemed Beadles did struggle against bigger/stronger/elite D-Linemen. If Beadles can become more consistent i think he can be a fine starter for us this season.

BEADLES AT A GLANCE:

• A third-year offensive guard who played all 16 regular-season games in each of his first two
professional seasons and is tied for fourth among offensive linemen who entered the NFL in
2010 with 30 career starts.
• Opened all 16 games during the regular season and started both playoff contests for the
Broncos in 2011, helping the league’s top rushing offense (164.5 ypg.) set the franchise single-season rushing mark.
• Named to The Sporting News’ All-Rookie Team in 2010 after opening eight contests at left
guard and six contests at right tackle, becoming the first NFL rookie since Andre Gurode (Dal.,
2002) to start at least six games at two of the three positions along the offensive line (C, G, T).
• Called for just one holding penalty during his first two NFL seasons to represent one of just
16 NFL offensive linemen with 30 starts and one or fewer holding calls from 2010-11.
• Played 51 games (50 starts) at the University of Utah, where he was a three-time All-
Mountain West Conference selection and received several All-America honors as a senior.
• Named the 2009-10 Mountain West Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year following his senior season and was a four-time Academic All-MWC honoree.
• Selected by the Broncos in the second round (45th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft.

CAREER TRANSACTIONS: Signed by Denver as a draft choice 7/27/10.

2011: Beadles started all 16 regular-season games and both playoff contests for Denver at left guard... Part of the only offensive line in the NFL to open every regular-season game with the same five individuals... Helped the Broncos finish first in the league in rushing with a team-record 164.5 yards per game on the ground.

2010: Selected by the Broncos in the second round (45th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft, Beadles appeared in all 16 games (14 starts), opening six contests at right tackle before starting the final eight games at left guard... Became the first rookie since Andre Gurode (Dal., 2002) to start at least six games at two of the three positions along the offensive line (C, G, T)... Was one of six NFL rookie offensive linemen to start at least 14 games in 2010,
earning him a spot on The Sporting News’ All-Rookie Team... Called for just two penalties (15 yds.) during the season... Started at right tackle at Jac. (9/12) to become the first player in franchise history to start a season opener at that position in his rookie campaign.

COLLEGE: Beadles played 51 career games (50 starts) at the University of Utah, earning first-team All-Mountain West Conference accolades in his final two seasons... Recorded 313 career knockdown/key blocks to go along with 45 touchdown blocks while opening 38 contests at left tackle and 12 games at left guard... Received first team All-America honors from the Football Writers Association and College Football News as a senior and was chosen as the 2009-10 MWC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year... Voted a finalist for the Wuerffel Trophy (athletics,
academics and community) and was a Lowe’s Senior CLASS second-team All-American... Named Utah’s Top Offensive Lineman as a junior with a career-best 109 knockdowns/key blocks in addition to 13 touchdown blocks.

PERSONAL: Beadles was a team-captain and three-year starter at Hillcrest High School in Sandy, Utah, where he did not miss a game during his career... Started along the offensive and defensive lines, recording 93 tackles, six sacks and one interception on defense and allowing zero sacks on offense as a senior to earn first-team allstate and all-region honors... Majored in mechanical engineering at Utah and earned a postgraduate scholarship from the NCAA for his classroom performance... Stepfather, Joe Legerski, is the women’s basketball coach at the University of Wyoming... Zane Dae Beadles was born on Nov. 19, 1986, in Casper, Wy.

Via: Denver Broncos




Chris Kuper

#73 / Guard / Denver Broncos

6-4

303

Dec 19, 1982

North Dakota


Kuper, the elder statesmen of the group, and arguably the best and consistent O-Linemen on the team. Kuper did suffer a ugly, cringe worthy ankle injury at the end of the season. Though it seems that he will be perfectly fine for camp, which is very good. I expect Kuper to have another solid season on the inside of our O-Line.

KUPER AT A GLANCE:
• A seventh-year offensive guard in his sixth season as a starter for Denver who has allowed just 12 sacks in 73 career starts (62 at right guard, 11 at left guard) according to Stats Inc.
• Spent the last four years as the Broncos’ starting right guard, opening at least 15 games in each campaign, including the 2008 season in which he was NFL’s only 16-game starting guard to not allow a sack (Stats Inc.).
• Named a first-team All-Pro selection by The Dallas Morning News (Rick Gosselin) in 2011 after starting all 16 regular-season games and helping the Broncos lead the league in rushing with a team-record 2,632 yards.
• Helped the Broncos set a club record for fewest sacks allowed (12) in 2008 and rank third in the league in yards per rush (4.8) despite placing seven running backs on injured reserve.
• Started the Broncos’ final 11 games in 2007 at left guard after seeing time in one game with the club as a rookie in 2006.
• Received All-America honors from the Associated Press in each of his final two seasons at the University of North Dakota, where he logged his first 29 career starts at right guard before switching to left tackle early in his senior year.
• Selected by the Broncos in the fifth round (161st overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft.

2011: Kuper opened all 16 regular-season games for the second time in his career and helped the Broncos lead the NFL in rushing with a team-record 2,632 yards on the ground... Named a first-team All-Pro selection by The Dallas Morning News (Rick Gosselin)... Injured his ankle in Denver’s season finale vs. K.C. (1/1) and missed the postseason.

COLLEGE: Kuper was a three-year starter at the University of North Dakota who received All-America honors from the Associated Press in each of his final two seasons... Played 48 career games (41 starts) at UND with the first 29 coming at right guard before he switched to left tackle early in his senior season... Earned his second consecutive Most Valuable Offensive Lineman award from the North Central Conference and was a first-team All-American (AP) and all-conference choice as a 13-game starter during his senior campaign... Nominated for the Gene Upshaw Award, presented to the best offensive or defensive lineman in Division II, as a first-team All-American during his senior year in 2005... Received second-team All-America recognition (AP) and the NCC Most Valuable Offensive Lineman award as a 14-game starter during his junior campaign.

PERSONAL: Kuper was an all-state selection as a two-way lineman at A.J. Dimond High School in Anchorage, Alaska... Contributed 119 tackles (65 solo) and 10 sacks during his senior campaign... Recognized as an all-conference choice on offense and defense following his junior and senior seasons while being named the conference’s Most Valuable Lineman as a senior... Helped his high school reach the state championship as a junior... Was one of only two Division II players invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game... Majored in communications at North Dakota... Married Cynthia during the offseason leading up to the 2009 season... Chris Kuper was born on Dec. 19, 1982, in Anchorage, Alaska.

Via: Denver Broncos


Ryan Clady

#78 / Offensive Tackle / Denver Broncos

6-6

325

Sep 06, 1986

Boise State



Probably the most important Broncos offensive linemen. Clady is protecting Mannings blind side. Manning is coming off four neck surgeries, so less hits the better. Clady has digressed some after his injury, but is still a top LT in the league. Clady hopefully can repeat his 08 and 09 success in 2012.

CLADY AT A GLANCE:

• A fifth-year offensive tackle who is one of just five offensive linemen in NFL history to start every game (64) and make multiple Pro Bowls (2) during his first four seasons.
• Joined by cornerback Brandon Carr and quarterback Joe Flacco as the only players from the 2008 draft class to start every game during the last four years.
• Selected to his second career Pro Bowl in 2011 after helping Denver lead the NFL with a team-record 164.5 yards per game on the ground.
• Named Denver’s recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award in 2010 after recovering from an offseason knee injury to start all 16 games.
• Earned All-Pro recognition from the Associated Press during each of his first two seasons with
the Broncos.
• Named a first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press in 2009, making him only the fifth tackle
since the 1970 NFL merger to earn that distinction by his second professional season.
• Became just the 11th tackle in NFL history to receive Pro Bowl honors by his second season in 2009 when he was voted a starter for the league’s all-star contest.
• Did not allow a full sack in his first 20 starts according to Stats Inc., marking the longest such streak by a tackle to begin his career since at least 1994.
• Earned second-team All-Pro honors (Associated Press) while finishing third in NFL Offensive
Rookie of the Year voting in 2008 after helping Denver tie for first in the NFL in fewest sacks
allowed (12) and rank second in the league in yards per game (395.8).
• Became the first offensive lineman to be named Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week in the five-year history of the award for his play vs. Kansas City (12/7/08).
• Started 37 of his 39 career games played at Boise State University, where he earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors during his final two seasons and was part of its undefeated team (13-0) in 2006.
• Selected by the Broncos in the first round (12th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft.

CAREER TRANSACTIONS: Signed by Denver as a draft choice 7/25/08.

Quickly: He is a fourth-year offensive tackle who has started all 58 games to begin his career, joining just four other NFL players from his 2008 draft class with that distinction. He was named Denver’s recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award in 2010 after recovering from an offseason knee injury to start all 16 games. He earned All-Pro recognition from the Associated Press during each of his first two seasons with the Broncos.

2011: Clady opened all 16 regular-season games for the fourth consecutive season to begin his career and earned his second Pro Bowl selection... Opened both of Denver’s postseason contests... Helped the Broncos lead the NFL in rushing, setting a franchise record with 164.5 yards per game on the ground.

COLLEGE: Clady played 39 career games (37 starts) in three seasons at Boise State University, where he earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors during his final two years at left tackle... Received first-team All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association and The Sporting News while earning second-team recognition from the Walter Camp Football Foundation as a junior... Helped Boise State become the only undefeated major college football team in the country (13-0) en route to a final ranking of No. 5 in the country (Associated Press) after its Fiesta Bowl win against Oklahoma in 2006... Started at right tackle as a redshirt freshman after competing along the defensive line on Boise State’s scout team as a true freshman.

PERSONAL: Clady received first-team All-Citrus Belt League honors as well as first-team all-county and All-CIF recognition as a defensive lineman at Eisenhower High School in Rialto, Calif.... Registered 60 tackles, five sacks and one fumble recovery as a senior... Brother, Chris, lettered as a defensive lineman at Colorado State University-Pueblo in 2009... Majored in communications at Boise State... Is the son of Ross Clady... Ryan Clady was born on Sept. 6, 1986, in Long Beach, Calif.

Via: Denver Broncos


Orlando Franklin

#74 / Offensive Tackle / Denver Broncos

6-7

330

Dec 16, 1987

Miami-Florida


Franklin is a mammoth man, and uses his size and strength to be a force in the run game. As i mentioned earlier in this post, Franklin graded out to be our best offensive linemen last year. Yes he did struggle in the passing game, but did improve as the season went on. He will need to continue to improve in the pass protection in 2012, and continue to be a force in the run game. I have high expectations for Franklin this season, i hope he meets them.

FRANKLIN AT A GLANCE:

• A second-year player who in 2011 became the first right tackle and just the sixth offensive lineman overall in team history to start every regular-season game as a rookie.
• Named to the All-Rookie Team by Football Outsiders after opening all 16 regular-season contests and playing in 98.2 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in 2011 while helping the club lead the NFL in rushing with a franchise-record 164.5 yards per game on the ground.
• Played 51 games (39 starts) at left guard and left tackle during his career at the University of Miami, twice earning All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition.
• Voted the Miami Sports Hall of Fame Unsung Hero and was a second-team All-ACC selection following his senior season in 2010 when he led the Hurricanes with 61 pancake blocks to go along with 16 cut blocks.
• Grew up in Toronto, Canada and played two seasons of high school football before moving to Florida to receive college recruiting attention.
• Lived in Jamaica until the age of 3 before moving to Canada.
• Selected by the Broncos in the second round (46th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft.

2011: Selected by the Broncos in the second round (46th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft, Franklin opened all 16 regular-season games and both playoff contests for the Broncos at right tackle... Earned all-rookie honors from Football Outsiders after playing in 98.2 of the team’s offensive snaps and blocking for a rushing attack that ranked first in the league with a team-record 164.5 yards per game.

COLLEGE: Franklin played 51 career games (39 starts) at the University of Miami at left guard and left tackle, earning All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition following his final two seasons... Led the team with 61 pancake blocks and 16 cut blocks his senior season and received the Miami Sports Hall of Fame Unsung Hero Award as the Hurricanes ranked first in the ACC with a school-record 5,477 yards of total offense (421.3 ypg.)... Graded out to 95 percent as a junior while opening 11 contests at left guard and two games at left tackle... Started 11-of-13 games played as a sophomore and saw time in 12 contests (3 starts) as a true freshman in 2007 to share the school’s Rookie of the Year Award.

PERSONAL: Franklin allowed zero sacks as a senior in his only season at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, Fla., where he was rated as the No. 2 offensive tackle on the Florida Times-Union Super 75 Team... Played two seasons of high school football in Toronto before relocating to Florida to receive recruiting attention... Grew up in Toronto after moving from Jamaica at the age of 3... Orlando Franklin was born on Dec. 16, 1987, in Kingston, Jamaica.

Via: Denver Broncos


Ryan Harris

#72 / Offensive Tackle / Denver Broncos

6-5

300

Mar 11, 1985

Notre Dame


The former Broncos starter will be competing for a roster spot in camp. Harris who has been derailed by back injuries. I am rooting for Harris to make the team and be the main backup at both OT positions. Harris just needs to stay healthy.

HARRIS AT A GLANCE:

• A sixth-year player who started 34-of-46 games for the Broncos during his first four NFL seasons (2007-10) before signing with the Eagles in 2011 and then returning to Denver for both of its postseason contests.
• Received All-Pro honors from Sports Illustrated (Peter King) in 2008 and has allowed just 3.5 sacks in 24 career starts at right tackle according to Stats Inc.
• Started eight games for Denver at right tackle in 2009 and allowed only one sack (Stats Inc.) before he was placed on injured reserve with a toe injury.
• Credited with allowing just 2.5 sacks in 2008 according to Stats Inc. to help the Broncos set a franchise single-season record and tie for first in the NFL with only 12 sacks allowed.
• Appeared in 11 games for Denver primarily on special teams as a rookie in 2007.
• Started all 45 career games played as a four-year starter at the University of Notre Dame, where he started at left tackle during his final three seasons after beginning his collegiate career at right tackle.
• Named Notre Dame’s top offensive lineman (Westwood One/Guardian Life Insurance Guardian of the Year Award) following his senior and sophomore seasons.
• Joined the Broncos as a free agent on Jan. 3, 2012.
• Selected by the Broncos in the third round (70th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft.

2011: Harris signed with the Broncos on Jan. 3, 2012, and was on the club’s active roster during the postseason... Originally signed with Philadelphia as an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 2, 2011, but was released following an injury settlement on Sept. 3, and spent the rest of the regular season out of football.

COLLEGE: Harris was a four-year starter at the University of Notre Dame, where he started all 45 career games played in consecutive fashion... Started his final 37 games at left tackle after beginning his career at right tackle... Named Notre Dame’s top offensive lineman (Westwood One/Guardian Life Insurance Guardian of the Year Award) as a senior and sophomore... Blocked for Fighting Irish passer Brady Quinn during his final three years as the quarterback finished his collegiate career setting 36 school records... Became only the third true freshman in school annals to start on the offensive line when he started the final eight games at right tackle that year.

PERSONAL: Harris was a USA Today first-team All-American as a senior at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minn.... Started for three seasons on both the offensive and defensive lines... Helped his team go 10-2 as a senior and reach the state quarterfinals... Named to the 10-member Super Prep team by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that year... Did not allow a sack in either of his final two seasons, earning all-state and all-metro honors... Posted 46 tackles and 11 sacks at defensive tackle as a senior... Played in the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio... Earned two varsity letters and was an all-conference selection in wrestling... Harris’ father, Kevin, played football at Wisconsin-Stout... A devout Muslim... Majored in political science and economics at Notre Dame... Ryan Emerson Wilcox Harris was born on March 11, 1985, in Minneapolis.

Via: Denver Broncos


Philip Blake

#64 / Offensive Linesman / Denver Broncos

6-2

312

Nov 27, 1985

Baylor



Phillip Blake was selected in the 4th round, 108th overall pick in Aprils NFL Draft. Blake figures to compete with Beadles and Walton for playing time, and insurance if Kupers ankle becomes a problem. Blake isn't your typical rookie either, he enters the league at the age of 26, and will be 27 during the season.

I am interested to see if Blake out performs either/or Walton and Beadles in camp, and takes away their starting job. It will be something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

A big bodied offensive lineman with a thick trunk and base. Has the ability to sit into his stance and play with his base under him. However, when he needs to fire off the snap and get into blocks in the run game will get straight-legged off the snap, negating his natural power into contact. Has the ability to still create movement as he keeps his base down, but has a hard time creating consistent power through the play and will fall off blocks because he lacks ideal balance. Plays quick in tight quarters but, isn't a guy who can pull routinely, and reach defenders down the field. However, when trying to get around defenders and seal at the line or chip and hit a second target in the area, he's very effective.


Does a much better job keeping his pad level under him in the pass game. Can sink his hips, sit into his stance and anchor vs. the bull rush. Gets himself into some trouble at times not shooting hands quickly off the snap and will allow defenders to gain inside leverage. Recovers well from the lower half and can re-anchor. However, when he can get a hold of defenders he's very tough to disengage from. But, when he has to mirror in space he lacks ideal lateral range, struggles to shuffle and slide and will give up penetration. Keeps his head on a swivel, but displays only average awareness and lacks the lateral quickness/make up speed to re-direct and pick up a backer if slow to locate him.


Impression: Possesses natural power and if he can play with his base under him a bit better in the NFL the guy will routinely create off the snap in the run game. Needs to play in a power based offense, but with some time has a chance to fight for playing time.

Via: National Football Post

BLAKE AT A GLANCE:
• An offensive lineman from Baylor University who started all 38 career games in three seasons played for the Bears—26 at center and 12 at right tackle—and recorded 254 knockdown blocks and 48 touchdown-resulting blocks during that time.
• Named to the Rimington Trophy (nation’s best center) Watch List his final two seasons after replacing Broncos teammate J.D. Walton as the Bears’ starting center in 2010.
• Started all 13 games as a senior in 2011 and was named a first-team All-Big 12 Conference selection by the league coaches and a first-team All-America pick by The NFL Draft Report.
• Directed the offensive line on a 2011 Baylor squad that ranked second nationally in total offense (587.1 ypg), fourth in passing offense (351.5 ypg), fourth in scoring offense (45.3 ppg) and 10th in rushing offense (235.6 ypg).
• Spent his freshman season at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas, where he played mostly center and was selected as a second-team All-Southwest Junior College Football Conference pick.
• Played two seasons of prep football at Champlain Regional College in Lennoxville, Quebec, after graduating from Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary School in Etobicoke, Ontario, in 2005.
• Chosen by the Montreal Alouettes with the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 Canadian Football Draft before opting to return to Baylor for his senior season.
• Selected by the Broncos in the fourth round (108th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft.

2011: Blake earned first-team All-Big 12 Conference honors from the league coaches and first-team All-America accolades from The NFL Draft Report after starting all 13 games at center for a Baylor offense that ranked second nationally in total offense (587.1 ypg), fourth in passing offense (351.5 ypg), fourth in scoring offense (45.3 ppg) and 10th in rushing offense (235.6 ypg)... Totaled a team-best 96 knockdowns and 23 touchdown-resulting blocks along with an 85.8 percent grade for blocking consistency... Named to the ESPN All-Bowl Team for his performance in Baylor’s 67-56 win vs. Washington (12/29) in the Alamo Bowl.

Via: Denver Broncos


Austin Wuebbels

#62 / Guard / Denver Broncos

6-4

295

Missouri



Wuebbels is a college free agent who is battling for a roster spot and a potential practice squad addition. Our own KaptainKirk wrote a scouting report on Wuebbels prior to the Draft. Check it out Here. Wuebbels played mostly right guard at Mizzou and finished his career starting in 39 consecutive games. He was Honorable Mention All Big-12 Football Honors in each of the last two years, as well as a four-time Academic All Big-12 honoree.

WUEBELLES AT A GLANCE: Austin Wuebbels is a rookie offensive lineman from the University of Missouri who joined the Broncos as a college free agent on April 28, 2012… Blocked for All-Big 12 Conference running back Henry Josey, who in 2011 rushed 1,168 yards in 10 games before a knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the season... Earned all-conference honors during the 2010 season, which was his first year as a full-time starter for the Tigers… Finished his career with 26 consecutive starts over his final two years… Attended Triad High School in Troy, Ill. where he was named Team MVP and garnered all-state, all-conference and all-Metro honors following his senior campaign... Majored in marketing at Missouri and was a four-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree… Austin Wuebbels was born on Oct 27, 1988. Via: Denver Broncos



Manny Ramirez

#65 / Guard / Denver Broncos

6-3

313

Feb 19, 1983

Texas Tech



Not to be confused with Manny Ramirez, the ex Boston Red Sox slugger/steroid user, the Broncos Manny Ramirez enters the 2012 season on the roster bubble. He will be competing for a roster spot at G/C. My only memories of Ramirez in 2011 was during the preseason when he struggled. Will be interesting to see if any of the UDFA's can challenge Ramirez.

RAMIREZ AT A GLANCE:
• A sixth-year offensive guard who started 15-of-20 games played in his first five NFL seasons with Denver (2011) and Detroit (2007-10).
• Played a career-high 13 games (12 starts) for the Lions in 2008 and was penalized just three times while allowing only a half sack according to Stats Inc.
• Started four seasons at Texas Tech University, calling the offensive line’s blocking schemes during his final two seasons and earning numerous All-Big 12 Conference accolades.
• Part of an offensive aerial attack that led the country with 398.9 passing yards per game in his four seasons (2003-06) with the Red Raiders.
• Established a Texas Tech school lifting record with his 550-pound bench press.
• Joined the Broncos as a free agent on Jan. 4, 2011.
• Selected by the Lions in the fourth round (117th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft.

CAREER TRANSACTIONS: Signed by Detroit as a draft choice 7/18/07; Waived by Detroit 10/6/10; Signed by
Denver to a future contract 1/4/11.

2011: Ramirez played two games (0 starts) in his first season with the Broncos and was inactive for the remaining 14 regular-season games as well as both playoff contests.

Via: Denver Broncos


C.J. Davis

#71 / Guard / Denver Broncos

6-2

308

Feb 02, 1987

Pittsburgh



I do not know much about Davis honestly. He signed with the Broncos this past offseason. Figures to battle it out with Ramirez and others for a roster spot at Guard.

DAVIS AT A GLANCE:

• A third-year offensive guard who spent his first two NFL seasons with Carolina and saw
action in seven games for the Panthers in 2010.
• Placed on injured reserve for the entirety of his rookie campaign in 2009 and spent the 2011
season out of football after being waived injured by Carolina at the conclusion of training camp.
• Started 43-of-45 games at the University of Pittsburgh and capped his collegiate career by
earning first-team All-Big East Conference honors as a senior guard and center.
• Joined the Broncos as a future-contract signee on Feb. 15, 2012.
• Entered the NFL with Carolina as a college free agent on May 1, 2009.

Davis will enter his third NFL season in 2012 after spending his first two professional campaigns (2009-10) with Carolina. He originally entered the NFL as a college free agent with the Panthers in 2009 before being placed on injured reserve at the end of training camp during his rookie season. He was signed to the Panthers’ active roster from their practice squad in 2010 and played seven games for the club to close out the season.

He played 45 career games (43 starts) at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a first-team All-Big East Conference selection as a senior. Davis attended West Allegheny High School in Imperial, Pa., and was born on Feb. 2, 1987.

2011: Davis spent the season out of football after being waived/injured by Carolina on Sept. 5.


2010: Davis played seven games (0 starts) as a reserve offensive lineman and on special teams after being elevatedfrom the practice squad on Nov. 17.


2009: Davis, who entered the NFL as a college free agent with Carolina on May 1, competed with the Panthers during training camp before being placed on injured reserve (ankle) on Aug. 31.


COLLEGE: Davis played 45 games (43 starts) at the University of Pittsburgh, earning first-team All-Big East Conference honors following his senior season while playing both guard and center... Earned the Ed Conway Award as a sophomore as one of the team’s most improved players.


PERSONAL: Davis attended West Allegheny High School in Imperial, Pa., where he was a three-year starter as a two-way lineman... Named to the Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AAA All-State Team as a senior offensive lineman... Majored in social sciences at Pitt... His cousin, Lovett Purnell, played tight end for New England (1996-98) and Baltimore (1999)... Emmanuel F. Davis Jr. was born on Feb. 2, 1987, in Millsboro, Del.

Via: Denver Broncos


Wayne Tribue

#69 / Guard / Denver Broncos

6-4

329

Apr 30, 1990

Temple



Tribue signed as a College Free Agent this past April and will battle with Blake, Rameriz, Weubbles and Davis for the backup job at Guard. Tribue is also a Practice Squad candidate.

A thickly built offensive guard prospect with a strong looking lower half and good length for his size. Coils up well into his stance, can keep his base under him, back flat and generate some pop into contact in-line. Gets his hands up quickly, extends his arms well and initially can create some movement in line. Showcases good range off his frame as well when trying to collapse the line of scrimmage and seal inside. Possesses good body control on the move. Lacks great range, but is a good enough athlete to get around with ease on power plays, and is able to breakdown and seal from the backside. Was consistently asked to pull on offense and was impressive leading runs and sealing holes inside. However, is a little tight in the hips and too often ends up on the ground through contact.


Showcases a quick initial step in the pass game. Can reach defenders off his frame, stay low and extend his arms with "plus" power and balance on his punch. Showcases natural change of direction skills in space and through contact. Can mirror laterally, is nimble footed and fluid when changing directions and when asked to mirror. Needs to do a bit better job re-working his hands through contact in order to maintain leverage. But he has natural anchor strength and works his feet well laterally in order to stick through contact. Isn't an easy guy to disengage from, has a scrappy element to his game pushing defenders past the pocket if they do gain a step and likes to finish in all areas of the game.


Impression: One of the most underrated offensive guard prospects in the nation. Is a solid athlete, can play low and with some time could fight for playing time.

Via: National Football Post

Wayne Tribue is a rookie offensive lineman from Temple University who joined the Broncos as a college free agent on April 28, 2012… Played 49 games for the Owls, opening 18 contests at left guard, 13 at right guard and two at center... Earned third-team All-Mid-American Conference honors after starting all 13 games as a senior in 2011... Appeared in 11 games (6 starts) as a junior after being named the most improved offensive player following spring drills... Saw action in 13 games (5 starts) as a sophomore after becoming one of just six Temple freshmen to play in every game during the 2008 season.

Via: Denver Broncos


Chris Clark

#75 / Offensive Tackle / Denver Broncos

6-5

315

Oct 01, 1985

Southern Mississippi


Clark enters his 3rd season with the Broncos. He will be battling for the backup OT job with Ryan Harris and others in camp. Clark saw time as a blocking tight end/eligible tackle for the Broncos in 2011.

CLARK AT A GLANCE:

• A third-year offensive tackle who has played 24 regular-season games (6 starts) in two seasons with Denver seeing time on special teams and as a blocking tight end/eligible tackle on offense.
• Spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons on Minnesota’s practice squad after competing in Tampa
Bay’s training camp as a rookie in ‘08.
• Started every game at left tackle during his final three seasons at the University of Southern
Mississippi, earning All-Conference USA recognition following his senior year.
• Played in the New Orleans High School All-Star Game and was named an All-District offensive
guard as a senior at McDonogh 35 High School in New Orleans.
• Assigned to the Broncos via waivers from Minnesota on Sept. 5, 2010.
• Entered the NFL with Tampa Bay as a college free agent on May 2, 2008.

CAREER TRANSACTIONS: Signed by Tampa Bay as a college free agent 5/2/08; Waived by Tampa Bay 8/30/08; Signed by Minnesota (practice squad) 9/10/08; Signed by Minnesota to a future contract 1/7/09; Waived by Minnesota 9/5/09; Signed by Minnesota (practice squad) 9/7/09; Signed by Minnesota to a future contract 1/25/10; Waived by Minnesota 9/4/10; Claimed off waivers by Denver 9/5/10.

Quickly: Clark is a second-year offensive tackle who played in Denver’s final eight games in 2010, primarily on special teams. He spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons on Minnesota’s practice squad after competing in Tampa Bay’s training camp as a rookie in ‘08. He earned his first NFL start at Green Bay in Week 4 (10/2/11). Clark has started four games at tight end in 2011.

2011: Clark played all 16 regular-season games (6 starts) and both playoff contests for Denver, seeing time on special teams and as an extra blocking tight end on offense.

2010: Clark played in Denver’s final eight games (0 starts) after being assigned to the Broncos off waivers from Minnesota on Sept. 5... Played primarily on special teams and on Denver’s goal-line and short-yardage packages... Made his NFL debut vs. K.C. (11/14), lining up as an eligible tackle on quarterback Tim Tebow’s 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Via: Denver Broncos


Adam Grant

#67 / Offensive Tackle / Denver Broncos

6-6

325

May 02, 1986

Arizona



Adam Grant spent the 2011 season on the Broncos Practice Squad. Grant will battle for a roster spot and a potential practice squad spot in camp.

Adam Grant is a first-year offensive tackle from the University of Arizona who joined the Broncos as a college free agent on July 27, 2011… Spent his rookie season on the club’s practice squad... Played 34 games (31 starts) along the offensive line for the Wildcats, spending his senior season at left tackle after playing on the right side during previous years... Earned second-team All-Pacific-10 Conference honors following both his junior and senior campaigns... Selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game... Played at tight end and on the defensive line at Puyallup High School in Puyallup, Wash., where he earned Associated Press honorable mention all-state honors on offense as a senior and was nominated for the U.S. Army All-American Team... Majored in religious studies at Arizona... Adam Grant was born on May 2, 1986, in Tacoma, Wash. Via: Denver Broncos


Tony Hills

#76 / Offensive Tackle / Denver Broncos

6-5

304

Nov 04, 1984

Texas


Hills signed with the Broncos last September and was inactive for 15 games in 2011. He did however see his only game action in the Wild-Card round of the playoffs. Hills will battle for a roster spot at OT.

HILLS AT A GLANCE:
• A fifth-year offensive tackle who has seen action in five career regular-season games and two playoff contests with Pittsburgh (2008-10) and Denver (2011).
• Played a career-high five total games (4 reg. season, 1 postseason) for the Steelers in 2010, seeing action on special teams and on the offensive line.
• Made his playoff debut in Super Bowl XLV vs. Green Bay (2/6/11) and played on both the offensive and special-teams units.
• Played 42 games at the University of Texas, opening his final 24 contests at left tackle and being named a first-team All-America selection by the Walter Camp Foundation following his senior year.
• Allowed just four quarterback sacks and seven pressures in 743 pass player over his final two seasons for the Longhorns.
• Joined the Broncos as a free agent on Sept. 6, 2011.
• Selected by the Steelers in the fourth round (130th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft.

2011: Hills was inactive for 15 regular-season games and did not play in one other contest before seeing his first action with the Broncos in their AFC Wild Card Playoff Game vs. Pit. (1/8).

Via: Denver Broncos


Mike Remmers

#60 / Offensive Tackle / Denver Broncos

6-5

303

Apr 11, 1989

Oregon State



Remmers signed as a College Free Agent this past April. Remmers will battle for a roster spot and potential Practice Squad spot this camp. Remmers has versatility, he can play both right and left tackle, that is always a bonus for a player trying to make the team. Remmers finished his OSU career with 44 starts, good for sixth in school history.

Mike Remmers is a rookie offensive lineman from Oregon State University who joined the Broncos as a college free agent on April 28, 2012… Made 44 total starts (sixth in school history), including the final 37 games of his four-year career with the Beavers... Blocked for a passing attack that averaged 286.8 yards per game his senior season... Earned All-Pacific-10 Conference honors as a junior in 2010 and was a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy, which is given annually to the best player in the country who began his career as a walk-on.. Earned a scholarship following his freshman season in which he saw limited game action... Attended Jesuit High School in Portland, Ore.... Majored in new media communications at Oregon State… Mike Remmers was born on April 11, 1989. Via: Denver Broncos


Position Overview: There's a few question marks here, like can Clady return to his elite form? Can Beadles and Walton improve? Will Franklin improve or regress in his sophomore season? Is Kupers ankle 100%? and do we have any depth this year?

We need these guys to have a good year to protect Manning. Manning should make these guys look better than they are, and hopefully they will be pretty good, so they will look that much better with Manning under center. Will be interesting to see how the OL plays out during camp/Preseason and throughout the season.




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