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Broncos training camp position battles: Center

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The Denver Broncos have the starter spot locked down, now to figure out the other guys.

NFL: Denver Broncos-Minicamp Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

For as much turmoil as there has been on the offensive line last year and this year so far in training camp, it is nice to have the starting center position locked down pretty nicely by Matt Paradis.

Kubiak was asked yesterday about Matt’s development and he said:

“Matt is becoming a really good player. Every snap last year, he took. That’s unusual in football. That kid did not miss a snap the whole season. He loves to play. He is the leader of our offensive football team right now as this quarterback deal continues to develop. I think Matt has been a leader during the course of the off-season and continues to do that now.”

The center position is a crucial element of the run game and requires versatility and athleticism.

Take a look at some of the things Paradis did last year.

This is Hillman’s big TD run against Minnesota in week 4. Watch #61 through all of this.

He immediately helps Vasquez secure his block on the DT by giving him a shove on his way out to the second level.

Since there were no linebackers, he moved on to the safety and got just enough of him to spring Hillman for the TD.

Here’s another one.

Paradis once again is on the move in the running game and juuussst gets enough of the linebacker to spring CJ for the OT score.

When he’s not out in space, he’s using his quickness to reach block NTs, which is very difficult when they’re shaded to the play side.

See how quick the center has to be off of the snap to get out in front of the NT?

He got a little help from Mathis on this one, but he does a great job getting his body positioned in between the DT and the runner, creating a crease for CJ to blast through for a TD.

With this in mind, here is my prognostication on where the Centers stand thus far in regard to making the team in 2016.

Locked In:

Matt Paradis

See above.

Likely Candidates:

James Ferentz and Dillon Day

I’m going to go ahead and put Dillon Day in this category as well because he has looked good in camp so far according to those who have been there.

Kubiak had some comments on these guys yesterday as well:

[C] Dillon Day and of course [C James Ferentz] Brick is going to have to play two spots. He is going to have to play some guard, along with center. That’s what helps you play seven guys. We are rotating them, giving them all an opportunity to compete.”

On The Bubble:

Dillon Day

It’s possible that Dillon Day doesn’t make the final cut and ends up on the practice squad again this year.

Final Prediction:

The only way we carry 3 centers is if one can double as a guard like Kubiak mentioned. I would like to see us keep all three of these guys but the line is such a mess right now, who knows how it will all shake out once guys get healthy.

Paradis is obviously your starter, based on reports from our MHR camp scouts, Ferentz is #2, and Day is working with the 3rd team.

Sound off in the comments section and give us your predictions on who you believe the Broncos final group guys at Center will be!