This is going to be a quick look rather than the Never Ending Story that I so often find myself writing. Mike Mike did up a nice depth chart the other day, but the difference in this one is that it's not focusing on when a player was drafted, but rather on whether he'll make the team. I'm going to lay it down in two separate formats, as it sometimes helps me better breathe in the big picture.
First we look at a simple chart listing the names at each specific unit (offense and then defense in the next chart). These are projections as to who will make the final roster. Most of your shinny new flavor of the weeks from the UDFA shopping trip won't make my final list here.
UFDA Kapri Bibbs is essentially fighting his own shadow for the most part, and that's why he made the cut. Add a veteran runner, and he'll likely be kicked to Practice Squad, though. UFDA Isaiah Burst is in consideration and is listed as one of two players in this chart who are fighting for the final roster spot on offense. The one and only reason he's in contention is for punt returns and kick returns. In the second format below, we'll make the decision as to whether he does indeed make the cut.
Now, a slightly confusing aspect of this the chart below is that there are two names with a slash (/) mark. The idea here is that Winston Justice and Vinston Painter, for example, are fighting over the fourth tackle position, but neither of them are in competition for the 25th roster spot simply because 5 tackles is too many. Thus, the loser goes home (or PS depending on which of them it is).
|QB (3)||OT (4)||G/C (5)||TE (3)||RB (4)||WR (5)||Cage Match; 25th roster spot (Offense)|
|Peyton Manning (S)||Ryan Clady (S)||Orlando Franklin (S)||Julius Thomas (S)||Montee Ball (S)||Demaryius Thomas (S)||Gerrell Robinson (TE)|
|Brock Osweiler||Michael Schofield (S)||Manny Ramirez (S)||Joel Dreessen/ Jacob Tamme||CJ Anderson||Emmanuelle Sanders (S)||Isaiah Burse (WR)|
|Zac Dysert||Chris Clark||Louis Vasquez (S)||Virgil Green||Ronnie Hillman||Wes Welker (S)|
|Winston Justice/ Vinston Painter||Will Montgomery||Kapri Bibbs||Cody Latimer|
|Ben Garland||Andre Caldwell|
MLB Stevie Johnson is on the "make it" list due to his significant Special Teams contributions. And when I say significant, I mean he contributes more to ST's than everybody else on the team. And that's probably enough in and of itself for it to win him a roster spot over everybody's favorite long-shot linebacker (Lerentee McCray). Thus, like with the offense, McCray won't be in competition against Johnson for the final LB spot so much as he'll be in competition against Quinton Carter and Marvin Austin for the final defensive spot overall.
And with that, and a few more wordy words just so that I don't spoil you into expecting shorter posts from me in the near future, here's the defense...
|DE (4)||DT (4)||LB (6)||CB (5)||S (5)||Cage Match; 25th roster spot (Defense)|
|DeMarcus Ware (S)||Terrance Knighton (S)||Danny Trevathan (S)||Aqib Talib (S)||Rahim Moore (S)||Marvin Austin (DT)|
|Malik Jackson (S)||Sylvester Williams (S)||Nate Irving (S)||Chris Harris (S)||TJ Ward (S)||Quinton Carter (SS)|
|Derek Wolfe||Kevin Vickerson||Von Miller (S)||Kayvon Webster||David Bruton||Lerentee McCray (SAM)|
|Quanterras Smith||Mitch Unrein||Corey Nelson||Bradley Roby||Duke Ihenacho|
|Lamin Barrow||Tony Carter||Omar Bolden|
A Visually Stunning Depth Chart, Magnifioso!
As promised in the beginning, below you'll find a second way to view the depth chart - only this time it'll be in a more picturesque manner. The idea behind this depth chart was to include slightly more names than 53 just to give us a fuller picture. But it still won't include many of the UFDA's or the players who signed "futures" contracts with the team recently (because, ironically enough, most of those players have no futures with the team).
The idea here is simple. The reddest of red names are projected as cuts, but they are kept on the list because they are the most debatable. If you want to keep one of them, then you have to cut someone else. There are 53 names on the chart once you take out the reddest of the red.
(Click to blow it up like the bomb, yo!)
This depth chart is projection not prediction. The difference is maybe subtle on the surface, but it won't be subtle in the long run. In English, this is how I project the depth chart to look if there are no injuries at all. But there will be injuries. And those injuries (and potentially a suspension or two) with throw this depth chart on its head. I'm not afraid to climb out on a limb, but I'm not dumb enough to tight-rope a twig, ya dig? Don't hold me to this depth chart, because my opinions will change as the facts change. And there will be blood, as is the case in this violent game of ours.
This depth chart simply gives us an early look, and it's useful in a lot of ways. So play with it however you like, and as much as you like... just not so much that you go blind.