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Did the Denver Broncos Improve in 2013? Offensive Tackle Edition

What did the Broncos do to address the Tackle position in the offseason?

Jim Rogash

2012: Ryan Clady, Orlando Franklin, Chris Clark

2013: Ryan Clady, Orlando Franklin, Chris Clark, Paul Cornick, Manase Foketi, Vinston Painter

Advantage: 2013

The big unknown here is what will happen with LT Ryan Clady? The team has placed the franchise tag on him for 2013 but Clady has yet to sign it. Both sides are in the middle of contract negotiations and both have submitted offers/counter offers to the other side for consideration. Clady's final numbers if a deal is to get done soon will pay him somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-11 million per year with about 30-35 million guaranteed.

Orlando Franklin has developed quite nicely at RT and improved by quite a bit in the passing game last season. In 2012 he was the 7th rated T by pro football focus in pass blocking efficiency. In 610 snaps, he allowed 4 sacks, 5 hits, and 19 hurries to total 26 pressures good for a 96.6% rating.

Come Training Camp, the only battle to watch at the tackle position is for that back-up swing tackle spot. Chris Clark is the incumbent. Clark sees time when the Broncos use heavy personnel groupings, such as an unbalanced line in 12 personnel, or on the goalline. Both Paul Cornick and Masase Foketi are UDFA rookies looking to battle for this position along with 6th round pick Vinston Painter.

So with all the uncertainty surrounding Ryan Clady, why are the Broncos in better position at T than in 2012? For starters, there is absolutely no way Clady doesn't sign his tender if a deal cannot be worked out. He would be sacrificing the potential of 9+ million guaranteed and he would also lose leverage in contract negotiations going forward.

Add to that the Broncos have added several bodies to push Chris Clark in that backup role and you have what John Elway covets: competition at all levels of the depth chart. Bottom line, the Broncos have to excellent book ends to depend on. Though Clady has seen his fair share of injuries the past several years, he has started every game at LT in his 5 seasons as a pro.

(A bit old but still good)