Peyton Manning has always made his offensive tackles look good.
With his unflinching awareness and quick release, Manning has made a Hall of Fame career out of a surgical deconstruction of opposing defenses. That continued in 2012, when Manning, despite saying he felt "like a rookie" in a lot of ways in his first year back from four neck surgeries, enjoyed the second fastest time from snap to release in the league, only behind New England's Tom Brady.
Still, in the case of Ryan Clady and Orlando Franklin, Manning's tackles just might have made Peyton look good too.
Both Clady and Franklin enjoyed phenomenal 2012 seasons. The Broncos are set at the starting tackle positions - the only training camp battle is one of depth, with some interesting young players expected to push Denver's veteran backup Chris Clark. Let's take a look.
Ht 6-6 Wt: 315
Age: 26 Exp: 6
Incoming Camp Status: Starting left tackle in contract limbo
The only concern surrounding Ryan Clady's 2013 training camp is whether the All Pro will show up at all.
Okay, there's also Clady's offseason shoulder surgery, but Clady sounds good to go to us. The issue with Clady is financial. He and the Broncos have until July 15th to negotiate a long-term deal -- as Tim reported in today's Horse Tracks, there is movement on that front. But if the Broncos fail to sign him long-term, Clady's only option is the one-year franchise tender. And until he signs it, he can hold out of training camp without penalty.
Would he report anyway? "Probably," in his own words. But let's just hope something big happens this week so we don't have to worry about that throughout camp.
Camp outlook: As long as Clady reports, he is one of the NFL's best, and he has recovered from injuries in the past to never miss a career start. He's a look at left tackle if the Broncos can lock him down.
Ht 6-7 Wt: 320
Age: 25 Exp: 3
Incoming Camp Status: Starting right tackle
In 2012, Orlando Franklin emerged. A mauling run blocker from the start, Franklin was a revelation as a pass blocking right tackle in his second year. The 2011 second round pick graded well nearly every week according to ProFootballFocus.com (subscription required), a promising start to what we hope is a long Broncos career.
Camp outlook: Franklin had eye, toe, and shoulder procedures this offseason, but he participated in offseason workouts so will be good to go for camp.
Ht 6-5 Wt: 305
Age: 27 Exp: 5
Incoming Camp Status: Solid backup
Chris Clark returns to the Broncos to again serve as versatile backup on both the left and right sides. Clark is so versatile, though, that he is often seen at tight end for the Broncos.
Camp outlook: Clark will continue to see snaps with the starters in Clady's absence, just as he did during minicamp and OTAs. If the Broncos only keep three tackles again this year, Clark will have to fight to keep his roster spot.
Ht 6-6 Wt: 309
Age: 23 Exp: R
Incoming Camp Status: Rookie, roster bubble
Denver's sixth round draft pick only started in one season for Virginia Tech, but his lack of experience is compensated by his measurables at the 2013 scouting combine.
Camp Outlook: Painter's best chance at making the roster is if the team keeps four tackles this year. If not he'd be a lock for the practice squad, assuming another team doesn't snatch him up.
Ht 6-5 Wt: 310
Age: 22 Exp: R
Incoming Camp Status: Rookie, roster bubble
Foketi is a bit of a 'tweener across the OL, projecting to tackle or possibly guard. He started 13 games at left tackle in 2010, but since has been plagued by injuries.
Camp Outlook: Foketi and Painter aren't too far apart in draft status: Painter was a sixth rounder, Foketi undrafted. Whichever performs better will earn a roster spot if there's one to be had, but given his injury history, Foketi seems like a prime practice squad candidate.
Ht 6-6 Wt: 310
Age: 24 Exp: 1
Incoming Camp Status: Roster bubble
Cornick landed on Denver's practice squad late last year after spending a good portion of the season on the New York Jets' practice squad. Cornick was an All-American after his senior season at North Dakota State.
Camp Outlook: Cornick's best chance is to land on the practice squad again, which means he may need to fend off Foketi for that spot.
Scouting young offensive linemen is one of my favorite parts of attending training camp, so I'm looking forward to seeing these three young guys compete! Who are you most looking forward to hearing about?