The Denver Broncos will have to trim down their active roster to 75 players by Tuesday, 4pm ET. This means that the NFL dream for 15 players will soon come to an end. They will get the dreaded "report to the head coach or general manager and bring your playbooks" message from the Turk.
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These cuts are usually pretty easy to figure out by coaches and fans. The players that will be cut are often "camp bodies" brought in to provide depth at a position, and never really had a shot to make the final roster. With that said, sometimes there is a surprise or two included during these cuts.
Usually, the players who did not play a snap during the third preseason game are the ones who will be cut. The players who didn't play a snap during last night's game are running backs Jeremy Stewart and Kapri Bibbs, cornerback Tevrin Brandon, linebacker Chase Vaughn, safety Ross Madison, guard Andre Davis, offensive tackles Kyle Roberts and Charles Sweeton, defensive end Josh Watson, tight ends Marcel Jensen and Jake Murphy and defensive tackle Chuka Ndulue.
Recently signed guard Evan Mathis and tight end didn't play either. Obviously, Mathis is safe and I have doubts that the Broncos would cut Light days after signing him.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak said that the team will "probably" announce them on Monday morning.
So with all that said, let me take a shot at projecting the first series of cuts by the Broncos.
1. Tight end Jeff Heuerman
He's not getting cut, just officially placed on the season-ending Injured Reserve list. This will clear up one roster spot. They haven't been able to officially place him on this list because it would have placed him on waivers first.
2. Linebacker Lerentee McCray
The veteran outside linebacker has missed the majority of the summer with an injury, and has fallen behind rookie Shane Ray and the impressive Shaq Barrett since. The question here will be if/when this happens, will they place him on the IR list or waive him.
Either way, his roster spot has been taken.
3. Running back Jeremy Stewart
This easily could be Kapri Bibbs, but I see them sticking with the younger Bibbs for now. With C.J. Anderson and probably Ronnie Hillman not playing a ton(of at all) during the final preseason game look for Juwan Thompson, Montee Ball, and Bibbs/Stewart to get the carries.
4. Offensive tackle Charles Sweeton
He was signed during Training Camp to provide depth at the position. He was a longshot to ever make the team.
5. Offensive tackle Kyle Roberts
Kyle Roberts was signed as a undrafted free agent for the Broncos this spring. He played with the third team, and with him behind Michael Schofield and Chris Clark, there's not a spot for him.
6. Linebacker Chase Vaughn
He's a great story, but such a long shot to make the team. The outside linebacker position is deep for the Broncos, and there just isn't a roster spot for him.
7. Cornerback Tevrin Brandon
Brandon didn't play at all last night, so it's safe to assume he will not be making the roster. With guys like Lorenzo Doss, Nixon, Tony Carter and Curtis Marsh all ahead of him on the roster, it will be hard for him to survive the first series for cuts.
8. Tight End Jake Murphy
He was added after Marvin Austin was placed on the season-ending Injured Reserve last week. Murphy hasn't played in a game, and the Broncos added tight end Dan Light this week. So it's unlikely he sticks around very long.
9. Linebacker Reggie Walker
The veteran linebacker was signed this winter but hasn't really made an impact on the team. Players like Corey Nelson and Zaire Anderson have moved ahead of him on the depth chart. So I could see him being cut.
10. Wide receiver Corbin Louks:
The hero of the second preseason game could be among the first cuts. With players like Bennie Fowler, Nathan Palmer, Isaiah Burse, and Jordan Taylor ahead of him, there might not be a spot for him.
11. Safety Ross Madison
He didn't play at all Saturday night and looks to be behind rookie safety Josh Furman on the depth chart.
12. Quarterback Zac Dysert
Dysert hasn't seen the field since his awful performance against the Seahawks week one. I think we'll see a lot of Brock Osweiler Thursday, with rookie Trevor Siemian getting the rest of the snaps.
13. Defensive tackle Chuka Ndulue
The Broncos appear set at nose tackle with Sylvester Williams, Darius Kilgo, and Sione Fua being their three guys. So this doesn't leave a spot for the undrafted rookie Ndulue.
14. Outside linebacker Danny Mason
The undrafted rookie hasn't done a lot to get recognized this summer. It looks like he's behind Gerald Rivers on the depth chart as well.
15. Punter Spencer Lanning
I think they will stick with Colquitt as the punter. It's possible this battle could go into the final preseason game.