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: Max Garcia
Height: 6'4 Weight: 309
Age: 23 Experience: R
Sayanora, Manuel Ramirez. Au revoir, Orlando Franklin. Tchüss, William Montgomery.
Their departures signified a changing of the guard for the Broncos trenches. Three seasoned veteran players set to pasture who combined for a total of 114 starts will no longer be protecting the ageless wonder Peyton Manning in 2015. From the outside looking in, it is a bleak situation that warrants the most concern on the roster.
Although many things are uncertain at Dove Valley just hours before the advent of training camp sessions, one thing is clear: the times are changing and a dawn of a new era is upon us. To that we raise our glasses and give a big herzlich willkommen to Shelley Smith, Ryan Harris and Gino Gradkowsi. A trio of new, but familiar faces to the Broncos brass that have their eyes on an ambiguous prize — a starting spot on the teams offensive forefront.
Under the tutelage of Head Coach Gary Kubiak and Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison, Broncos faithful are hopeful that the patchwork additions can amalgamate into a unit capable of playing at a high level. Despite the track record of success the zone blocking scheme has had under the Broncos staff, a cloud of uncertainty looms over what appears to be the most questionable unit of the franchise.
In order to help address those concerns, the Broncos tapped Max Garcia out of Florida with their fourth round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. A hard-working prospect known for giving it his all on the gridiron, he offers positional flexibility and potential for the Broncos line for the future and is expected to compete immediately, though it is unlikely he will start this season. Listed below is a quick look at one of the newest additions to the franchise.
Fowler is ready to make the roster this year
Bennie Fowler has the speed and the toughness to contribute on special teams and make the occasional play at WR. Though there are a wealth of players fighting for a roster spot, don't be surprised if Fowler steps up and earns one of them.
The good: Former Maryland Terrapin who transferred to Florida in 2011. Versatile player who has experience at center, guard and tackle. Started every game for Maryland in 2011 at left tackle. 12 game starter for the Gators in 2012 on the left side of the line. Transition to center for his senior season and graded out above 97% and was attributed over 35 knockdowns.
Former team captain who is well-respected and beloved by coaches, players and fans alike. Gritty, hard-nosed run blocker who mauls defenders in the booth. Excellent strength at the point of attack and demonstrates tremendous hand placement and technique. Sound body control and rarely is moved backwards off the snap. Held his own against two top defensive tackles in Danny Shelton and Carl Davis at last years Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.
The bad: Cement-legged lineman whose marginal athleticism and movement skills make him a puzzling fit for the zone blocking scheme. Many scouts and talent evaluators believing his best fit in the pros is in a power run scheme. Inconsistent footwork and occasional issues with leverage may make him vulnerable to athletic, disruptive interior lineman at the next level. Suffers from issues in regard to pad level which negate natural strength and inhibit leverage.
Quotable: "I think I'm a great fit for the Broncos for what they do as far as zone blocking. I feel like I can get up to that second level in combinations with the center and guard." — Garcia on how he fits in Denver
Status: The Broncos were in desperate need of a viable long-term option on the interior of the offensive line and the selection of Garcia in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft helps alleviate some concerns for the team in the future. Currently listed second on the depth chart at right guard behind Louis Vasquez, he has an outside shot of winning a starting role if Ben Garland, Matt Paradis or the others mentioned earlier falter in camp.
There are a handful of questions that need to be addressed in order for him ascend to a starting role in the NFL, but look for Garcia to earn a back-up role with the team in 2015. His positional flexibility was coveted by the Broncos and his upside will land him a starting position next season if he continues to improve. At the end of the day, he is a player you want to root for and don't want to bet against given his work ethic and nasty on the field demeanor. A player for the future and one to certainly keep an eye on.