2013 Denver Broncos Countdown to Kickoff: Louis Vasquez - 18 Days

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Mile High Report staff each ranked their top 20 most important players on the Denver Broncos roster. We averaged the rankings and compiled them into a final list that best represented the overall choices. Next man up is Louis Vasquez.

The Rankings

Overall rank (1-20)

Kyle Montgomery

Bronco Mike

Tim Lynch

Ian

Henson

Scotty

Payne

Topher Doll

Big Pete

Mr. East

Brain Shrout

Jon Heath

18th

N/A

N/A

7th

17th

18th

N/A

N/A

16th

N/A

14th

From the Horses' Mouth

Big Pete

Vasquez needs to get healthy fast because he's a vital cog on our team. The Broncos already have enough offensive line issues facing them, they really don't need any more. I loved the Vasquez signing and think he's a very good pass and run blocking guard. In our quest for a ring, we're going to need everybody healthy, and that definitely includes the OL. In most of my earlier versions of rankings, I had 5 offensive linemen making my list (I had Lilja instead of Manny) because without protection for Manning and blocking for the running backs, this season isn't going anywhere. I think our D takes a step back this year which will only put more of the onus on Manning. In my latest draft, I think I had Vasquez outside of my Top 20 because I put players like Woodyard and such in there instead, but that doesn't take away his importance. One thing is for sure, he's more important than Ronnie Hillman is, right?!? Haha

Jon Heath

Louis Vasquez was one of the biggest steals of free agency and may turn out to be one of Denver's most important pickups of the offseason.  As long as quarterback Peyton Manning stays upright, the Broncos will be contenders.  With the offensive line ailing, Elway (once again) is looking like a genius for bringing in Vasquez during the offseason.  Regardless of what happens elsewhere across the line, Vasquez will be starting (at guard, unless an injury forces the team to move him) this season.  After allowing just 2.5 sacks in San Diego last season, Vasquez has proven he's ready to be, as Big Pete noted, a vital cog in Denver.

Bronco Mike

I think Vasquez is less important with the recovery of Chris Kuper.  If Vasquez goes down, Kuper can essentially step right back into the position he started most of his career.  I'm more worried about Clady or Franklin going down because if either of them gets hurt you have to rely on Chris Clark who has had a shaky preseason with the reserves.

Still, the positives that Vasquez bring to the table as far as consistent play (minimal pressure and no penalties) will be a boon for Peyton Manning and the starting five.

Notable Broncos to wear #18:

Frank Tripucka (1960-1963)

Current Bronco wearing #18:

Peyton Manning (2012-present)

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