A day-by-day Broncos player breakdown is something we've been doing since our days at BroncoTalk nearly a decade ago. This year the tradition continues as we look at the Denver Broncos roster heading into the 2015 season in our 90-in-90 series.
Name: Gino Gradkowski
Height: 6'3" Weight: 300
Age: 26 Experience: 4
Not many in Broncos Country were thrilled about our acquisition of Gino Gradkowski this offseason. When you look at the stats, there isn't much to be excited about. Gradkowski graded out as the worst starting center in his only full year of NFL starting work.
Not all hope is lost, though. The big plus he has going for his chances to start is familiarity with the offense. That is the No.1 reason he will be donning the orange and blue this year.
That being said, he's going to face some stiff competition from the youth this year (funny how that theme keeps coming up...we must be doing something right to have so many positions where veterans are battling young talent).
The good: Gradkowski knows this offense. This is the key I see as to why he is going to win the starting job. His main competition seems to be Matt Paradis, and there has been no indication from last year that this is a serious threat to Gradkowski.
The big boon Gradkowski does have is his run-blocking ability. If we're going to be a power zone blocking running team moving forward, he's going to be part of the plan.
The bad: You can probably guess his weakness - pass blocking. I couldn't tell you for sure what specifically his problem is as I haven't gotten eyes on his play, but whether it is hand technique, power or footwork, he needs to make some strides this training camp to make it much less of a glaring hole in his game.
Status: In this offense, if we can stay on schedule and run it how it is supposed to work, the coaches should be able to minimize Gradkowski's pass-blocking issues by utilizing play action the way coach Gary Kubiak likes to. I'll note again that there are a lot of signs that point to Gradkowski being our starter this next year.
He's probably headed into training camp with a decent hold on the starting position. We'll quickly find out if he can hold onto it, though, as this coaching staff won't hesitate to play younger guys who have futures with the team in order to build future stability.