The “legal tampering” period of free agency is here, and it is a great time to take a nice long look at what the Denver Broncos have in the cupboard. Every ounce of this is my own personal opinion based off what I’ve seen from the players.
Today we’re continuing wrapping up our series with our quarterbacks and running backs in order to find out what holes the Broncos should be looking to fill in the 2018 NFL offseason.
We’re going to use the following system to rank the players:
1 - Project / developmental - Not ready
2 - Backup quality - good for a spell
3 - Mediocre starter - Meh...he can play
4 - Good starter - Solid player
5 - Superb player - Playmaking stud
I’ll rate each unit as follows based off of my assessment of the individual pieces the Broncos have on hand:
1 - Blow it up - the Broncos have nothing NFL quality to work with
2 - Severely lacking at least one starter
3 - Mediocre need
4 - Solid talent and depth
5 - NFL super group
C.J. Anderson - 3
Anderson is fools gold as far as a legit No. 1 NFL running back goes. Yes, he can churn out yardage. Yes, he stayed healthy through an entire season finally in 2017. But he doesn’t wow in any facet of the game. He’s not making guys miss. He’s not a big-time play breaker. He doesn’t have the jets to gain big chunks of yards. He’s just a very solid starter who can get the yards that the defense gives him.
Devontae Booker - 3
What I like about Booker is his ability to catch and run routes. He looks like he has the potential to be a serious weapon in the passing game. Unfortunately, the Broncos don’t exactly take advantage of that a lot in their scheme. In all other ways, he seems like a back much like Anderson: mediocre at most things and not impactful enough to be the featured back.
De’Angelo Henderson - 2
Henderson is a guy that if he can put the work in, he looks like the type of player who could be impactful. After a lackluster 2017 season, the Broncos are going to want him to wow them in training camp, and we’ve not seen a lot on the actual field of play to say that he’s going to be able to do that.
Overview - 2
The biggest problem here is that in today’s NFL, you really need guys who can make impactful plays in some way that make defenses have to account for them. The stable of backs for the Broncos just doesn’t have that guy. I can’t help but think that RB is a position that will get a long look in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Case Keenum - 3
With the recent news of Keenum likely signing with Denver when free agency officially opens, the Broncos will once again be chained to a guy that is hand-picked by Gary Kubiak. Sadly, this hasn’t worked well for us in recent memory (see three QBs down). While it is a fair move for the team to make when strapped for cap space, don’t expect too much here. Keenum looked great last year behind one of the most talented NFL offenses in 2017. He will have no such luxury here with inferior weapons and line compared to the Vikings.
Brock Osweiler - 3
Osweiler isn’t anything special. He’s not going to set the NFL on fire anytime soon. But of all the QBs we saw play in 2017, this was the one guy that looked the most like an actual NFL starter. Sure he didn’t get a winning record, but look at the competition they matched him up against. It included both Super Bowl teams. Of all the QBs on the roster, this is the one guy I’d be OK with the Broncos hanging onto in 2018 either as a bridge option or as a backup.
Paxton Lynch - 1
Last season we heard rumblings about X-box time and lack of effort. The rumor mill has doubled down on that and it unfortunately falls in line with the product we saw on the field in 2017. Lynch is a bust. He doesn’t have the work ethic needed to make it in the NFL. If we get so much as a bag of potato chips for this guy before he retires, it will be a feather in Elway’s cap.
Trevor Siemian - 1
LAWL. What a broken, pathetic piece of work this “player” is. Releasing him from the team will instantly make the roster better.
Chad Kelly - 1
Everyone in Broncos Country is holding onto hope that the IR guy / practice squad QB is going to be something. He’s the next in a long line of practice squad favorites a la Trevor Siemian, Ben Garland, and Kyle Sloter. Protip: if the Broncos are scouring the earth for a different option, then this guy probably isn’t your answer.
Overview - 2
I’ve never seen a unit on a team with less depth and talent than this group. This is the No. 1 hole in the Broncos’ roster with good reason. Keenum is a guy that’s here to hold down things until we find “the guy.” I would be very surprised if the Broncos don’t still go QB high in the draft this year.
Roster status overall:
Defensive Ends 4
Nose Tackles 4
Outside Linebackers 3
Inside Linebackers 2
Cornerbacks 5 / 3
Interior O-Line 3
Tight Ends 3
Wide Receivers 3
Running Back 2