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Broncos to have about $4 million in salary cap space after signing 2015 draft class

With the CBA virtually locking each draft pick into a set compensation slot, just how much will each Broncos rookie count against the salary cap?

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Over the cap has a really neat tool. Click on the team and it automatically highlights all the draft slots from this past draft. The information provided is a guesstimate of how much each rookie will count against the cap. While only an estimate, the tool is fairly accurate. What it will give us immediately is a guess on how much cap space the Broncos will have left after they pay their roster.

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The Broncos have yet to sign 1st and 3rd round picks Shane Ray and Jeff Heuerman but you can guarantee their contracts and cap numbers will be similar to this table. If Fowler can get a fully guaranteed contract at #3 after suffering an ACL, there should be no issue slotting Heuerman where he would have been pre-injury.

Now that we have the information lined up, let's see what it adds up to:

2015 Broncos Draft Class-Cap Hit for 2015

Shane Ray: 1,657,981

Ty Sambrailo: 699,265

Jeff Heuerman: 590,201

Max Garcia: 521,422

Lorenzo Doss: 484,303

Darius Kilgo: 462,889

Trevor Siemian: 448,196

Taurean Nixon: 448,196

Josh Furman: 448,196

Totals: 5,760,649

Over the Cap has not changed it's overall cap figure since Manny Ramirez was traded on draft night. That move gave the Broncos an additional 3 million in cap space. Overall, the Broncos (without the draft class figured in) have about 9.559 million in cap space. Once their rookie draft class is signed and finalized, that figure will be closer to 4 million.

Rule of 51:

Remember, the Broncos are still operating under the "rule of 51." Until the season begins, only the top 51 players will count against the salary cap. Once the season starts, that number will include the final 53-man roster AND practice squad.

One could look at this increase and worry that the Broncos will not have enough room to cover everyone. But remember, the entire practice squad and even draft class represent the very bottom of the barrel when it comes to finances. In other words, for our draft picks to make the team, it will bump a higher paid veteran off and create more cap room automatically.