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Denver Broncos 53-man roster projection: Tough cuts ahead

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How I think the 53 man roster shakes out.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback(3)

Who makes it: Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian, and Mark Sanchez

Who gets cut: No one

Thoughts:

How this quarterback battle shakes out still remains to be seen, but with only three quarterbacks currently on the roster, I do not see anyone being cut.

I know after Mark Sanchez's poor summer some think he could or should be cut, but that seems unlikely despite his struggles. That would leave the Broncos with two inexperienced quarterbacks on the roster and no veteran to lean on.

Unless a veteran who knows or somewhat knows the offense hits the marketand Broncos feel he's a better option than Sanchez, then maybe it happens. However, this scenario seems unlikely.

The question here is where they fit on the depth chart, not who makes the team.

Running Back/Fullback(5)

Who makes it: C.J Anderson, Devontae Booker, Kapri Bibbs, Andy Janovich and Juwan Thompson

Who gets cut: Ronnie Hillman

Thoughts:

This is another pretty easy one to figure out.

C.J. Anderson is your starter, Devontae Booker is your backup/1B guy, Andy Janovich is your fullback, and Juwan Thompson is your running back/fullback/special teams ace.

That leaves Ronnie Hillman and Kapri Bibbs fighting for one roster spot and to win this roster spot they need to show they can be a contributor at running back AND on special teams. This is where the odds go against Hillman.

Hillman is not a very physical player, so I have a hard time seeing him being a gunner or blocker on special teams. Bibbs fits this role a bit better in my opinion. Both Hillman and Bibbs can contribute in the kick return game, but I still think Bibbs has the edge here.

Wide Receiver(6)

Who makes it: Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Bennie Fowler, Cody Latimer, Jordan Taylor, and Jordan Norwood

Who gets cut: Durron Neal, Kalif Raymond, Bralon Addison, DeVier Posey, and Mose Frazier

Thoughts:

This battle seems all but settled right now.

DT and Sanders are the obvious locks, and Fowler and Latimer all but locked up spots with their performances during Training Camp and the Preseason. I also do not see how the Broncos leave Jordan Taylor off the 53 man roster either, so there's five total receivers.

The final decision comes down to Jordan Norwood, Kalif Raymond, and Bralon Addison and well, it ended up being a very easy one. Norwood continued to get first-team reps at receiver and neither Raymond or Addison did enough to take his roster spot.

The real battle here is which of these guys land on the Broncos Practice Squad. Durron Neal, Kalif Raymond, Bralon Addison, or Mose Frazier? I think we see two of them on the Practice Squad.

Tight End(3)

Who makes it: Virgil Green, Jeff Heuerman, and John Phillips

Who gets cut: Garrett Graham, Henry Krieger-Coble, and Mannasseh Garner

Thoughts:

I know, "only three tight ends??" and It was tough. I went with Jordan Taylor over Garrett Graham here for one of the final roster spots.

I also went with John Phillips over Graham. Both have been hurt, but I think Phillips has the edge here. That's just my gut feeling and what I have been told, but could go either way.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak has been very critical about Krieger-Coble's size and saying he will need to get bigger to make it in the league. So I think the Broncos will stash Coble on the Practice Squad and give him a year to get bigger and potentially help out if someone gets hurt.

Tackle(3)

Who makes it: Russell Okung, Donald Stephenson, and Michael Schofield

Who gets cut: Kyle Roberts, Justin Murray, Cameron Jefferson, and Lars Hanson

Thoughts:

This one is pretty simple. Okung and Stephenson are your starters, and the Broncos still like Schofield as their swing man for whatever reason.

None of the other guys really ever pushed Schofield for that job, but I think one or two of these guys make the Practice Squad.

Now I wouldn't be shocked if Schofield ended up being a "surprise cut", but seems unlikely that the Broncos would give up on their draft pick this quickly.

Guard(4)

Who makes it: Max Garcia, Ty Sambrailo, Connor McGovern and Darrion Weems

Who gets cut: Robert Myers Jr., Aaron Neary, and Mathu Gibson

Thoughts:

Because of Ty Sambrailo's injury the Broncos will likely head into the season with four guards on the roster. It seems likely that Ty will miss the start of the season so veteran Darrion Weems will start at right guard while Max Garcia gets the start at left guard. Rookie Connor McGovern will back them up.

Center(2)

Who makes it: Matt Paradis and James Ferentz

Who gets cut: Dillon Day

Thoughts:

Paradis is the starter and Ferentz is the backup.

Dillon Day has struggled and has not done enough to pass Ferentz on the depth chart. Ideally I would keep 8 total offensive lineman, but I do not think we have a G/C type, and Schofield appears to be the only swing guy on the roster that's healthy.

(26 total offense)

Defensive end(4)

Who makes it: Derek Wolfe, Jared Crick, Adam Gotsis, and Henry Melton

Who gets cut: Billy Winn and Lars Koht

Thoughts:

With Vance Walker out for the year, it opened up a roster spot for either Billy Winn or recently signed Henry Melton. I do not think the Broncos would sign Melton if they didn't think he would make the roster two weeks from now, so I am giving him the nod over Winn.

I originally kept Winn, but number crunching made him one of the final cuts.

Nose tackle(2)

Who makes it: Sylvester Williams and Darius Kilgo

Who gets cut: Kyle Peko, David Moala, and Calvin Heurtelou

Thoughts:

This is a pretty easy group to figure out. Sly is the starter and I think we'll see Kilgo play a Vance Walker type role this season.

Look for Kyle Peko to land on the Practice Squad.

Edge Rusher(5)

Who makes it: Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Shane Ray, Shaquil Barrett, and Dekoda Watson

Who gets cut: Vontarrius Dora, Sadat Sulleyman, and Eddie Yarbrough

Thoughts:

Trying to make the team as a edge rusher on the Denver Broncos is near impossible. You have four players already sharpied into the roster and likely one spot open, if that.

The veteran Dekoda Watson was the forgotten man this summer, but has really caught my eye this preseason. He has made big play after big play and has secured a roster spot in my eyes.

Dora was a nice story during the first preseason game, and he likely lands on the Practice Squad.

Inside Linebacker(4)

Who makes it: Brandon Marshall, Todd Davis, Zaire Anderson, and Corey Nelson

Who gets cut: Frank Shannon, Dwayne Norman, Kyle Kragen, and Darnell Sankey

Thoughts:

The rise of Zaire Anderson almost cost Corey Nelson a roster spot, but I decided to go with Billy Winn instead. I thought Dekoda Watson could be the 5th OLB and 4th ILB, but was talked out of it.

Marshall and Davis are your starters, and Zaire Anderson could get some looks in sub-packages.

Cornerback(5)

Who makes it: Chris Harris Jr., Aqib Talib, Bradley Roby, Kayvon Webster, and Lorenzo Doss

Who gets cut: Taurean Nixon, B.J. Lowery, John Tidwell,

Thoughts:

This one could have been Sharpied in months ago.

Harris, Talb, and Roby are your starters, Kayvon is your 4th corner and special teams ace, and Lorenzo Doss who has had an excellent summer is likely a game day inactive.

Depth.

Safety(4)

Who makes it: T.J. Ward, Darian Stewart, Justin Simmons, and Will Parks

Who gets cut: Shiloh Keo, Brandian Ross, Antonio Glover, and Ryan Murphy

Thoughts:

The future behind the starters.

Stewart and Ward are the Broncos starters while rookies Justin Simmons and Will Parks are the backups.

I could see Shiloh Keo placed on the suspended list for the first two games and then have the Broncos make a roster move after that to get him back on the roster.

(24 total defense)

Special Teams(3)

Who makes it: Brandon McManus, Britton Colquitt, and Casey Kreiter

Who gets cut: Riley Dixon

Thoughts:

Dixon never did enough to pass Colquitt on the depth chart so the starting job goes to the veteran.