The Denver Broncos had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL last season. Part of that had to do with poor quarterback play, but a bigger part of that was poor offensive line play from the right side.
In a recent Pro Football Focus post where they ranked all of the offensive lines in the NFL, they saw the addition of Jared Veldheer is a potential game changer for the Broncos who have struggled to get consistent play from the right side since 2015.
19. DENVER BRONCOS
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:
Left Tackle: Garett Bolles, 68.8 overall grade
Left Guard: Ronald Leary, 81.2
Center: Matt Paradis, 75.2
Right Guard: Connor McGovern, 40.2
Right Tackle: Jared Veldheer, 54.3
2017 season-end rank: 23rd (+4)
The Broncos have suffered through arguably the worst right tackle situation in the NFL over the past two seasons, but there’s reason to think that will change in 2018. Jared Veldheer was a mess early last season in Arizona switching from the left to right side. He allowed only 20 pressures though in his last 10 games in 2017 after allowing 19 in his first three. That late-season play is more in line with the Veldheer we’ve seen throughout his career and could be the answer to the Broncos pass protection woes.
With Case Keenum under center, that line play could get even better as a veteran quarterback like Keenum will be able to recognize potential defensive schemes and put his line in a better position to protect him from pressure.
Even so, Keenum played behind a pretty terrible line with the Minnesota Vikings. That unit is ranked 28th by PFF with four of the five starters sporting a PFF grade of under 50 in 2017. The only one above, Mike Remmers, put in a 69.6 grade last season. Remmers was also abused by Von Miller in Super Bowl 50 over and over again.
Those two facts have me feeling pretty good about the moves John Elway and his staff made to improve the offensive line this offseason. It’s a multi-year project, but they are getting closer to finding those long-term answers.