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Broncos full season snap count review

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Here is all of the Denver Broncos snap count data and maybe a little help in understanding it.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

So it is done. The Denver Broncos season and the Vance Joseph era are both now mercifully finished. The game-day inactives list for the season tells an interesting story for those willing to listen.

game 1 QB 9 K.Hogan WR 16 I.McKenzie CB 41 I.Yiadom LB 45 A.Johnson DE 57 D.Walker T 68 E.Wilkinson G 70 S.Jones
game 2 QB 9 K.Hogan DB 38 S.Thomas CB 41 I.Yiadom LB 45 A.Johnson DE 57 D.Walker T 68 E.Wilkinson G 70 S.Jones
game 3 QB 9 K.Hogan CB 24 A.Jones S 35 Dy.Thomas LB 45 A.Johnson DE 57 D.Walker T 68 E.Wilkinson G 70 S.Jones
game 4 QB 9 K.Hogan CB 22 T.Brock DB 38 S.Thomas LB 45 A.Johnson DE 57 D.Walker T 68 E.Wilkinson G 70 S.Jones
game 5 QB 9 K.Hogan CB 22 T.Brock DB 38 S.Thomas LB 45 A.Johnson DE 57 D.Walker T 66 J.Veldheer G 70 S.Jones
game 6 QB 9 K.Hogan CB 24 A.Jones DB 38 S.Thomas LB 45 A.Johnson DE 57 D.Walker T 66 J.Veldheer G 70 S.Jones
game 7 QB 9 K.Hogan CB 24 A.Jones S 35 Dy.Thomas LB 45 A.Johnson OLB 56 S. Ray G 65 R.Leary T 66 J.Veldheer
game 8 WR 17 D.Hamilton S 26 D.Stewart RB 28 R.Freeman LB 45 A.Johnson OLB 56 S. Ray T 66 J.Veldheer C 74 N. Falah
game 9 WR 17 D.Hamilton S 26 D.Stewart RB 28 R.Freeman CB 29 B.Roby ILB B. Marshall G 70 S.Jones C 74 N.Falah
game 10 S 35 Dy.Thomas S 38 S.Thomas LB 45 A.Johnson ILB 54 B.Marshall DE 57 D.Walker C 74 N.Falah G 76 M.Garcia
game 11 S 35 Dy.Thomas S 38 S.Thomas LB 45 A.Johnson ILB 54 B.Marshall DE 57 D.Walker C 74 N.Falah G 70 S.Jones
game 12 CB 22 T.Brock ILB 46 J.Holland OLB 48 S.Barrett ILB 54 B.Marshall DE 57 D.Walker C 74 N.Falah G 70 S.Jones
game 13 CB 22 T.Brock CB 25 C.Harris Jr. ILB 46 J.Holland OLB 48 S.Barrett ILB 54 B.Marshall DE 57 D.Walker C 74 N.Falah
game 14 S 21 S.Cravens CB 25 C.Harris Jr. CB 41 I.Yiadom OLB 48 S.Barrett OLB 56 S. Ray DE 57 D.Walker C 74 N.Falah
game 15 S 21 S.Cravens CB 27 B.Langley DB 36 T.Marshall DB 49 C.Mager OLB 56 S. Ray DE 57 D.Walker TE 83 M.LaCosse
game 16 S 21 S.Cravens DB 38 H.Richardson DB 49 C.Mager LB 50 A.Wallace OLB 56 S. Ray DE 57 D.Walker C 74 N.Falah

Elijah Wilkinson began the season as a game-day inactive after spending most of 2017 on the practice squad. By mid-year, he was a full-time starter at guard for us. Brendan Langley started the year on the practice squad and then was signed to active roster in November. Despite all of our injuries at CB, he took exactly zero defensive snaps. DeMarcus Walker had almost as many games where he was inactive (13) as he had defensive snaps (21). We’ll discuss that more later. The game 16 inactives are notable in that we didn’t play Shane Ray, Su’a Cravens or Demarcus Walker, but the other guys who were inactive in the final game of the season were signed to what were ostensibly futures contracts.

Offensive snap percentages for the second half of the season

Player Game 9 Game 10 Game 11 Game 12 Game 13 game 14 Game 15 Game 16
Connor McGovern 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 97%
Matt Paradis 39%
Jared Veldheer 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 78%
Garett Bolles 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Case Keenum 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Emmanuel Sanders 92% 89% 77% 68%
Jeff Heuerman 71% 86% 75%
Courtland Sutton 85% 89% 74% 69% 69% 86% 99% 94%
Royce Freeman 23% 26% 36% 12% 25% 37% 56%
Phillip Lindsay 58% 57% 63% 42% 65% 53% 31%
Devontae Booker 39% 20% 11% 22% 23% 21% 36% 44%
DaeSean Hamilton 0% 25% 51% 80% 97% 99% 94% 92%
Andy Janovich 23% 16% 37% 39% 18% 22% 18% 14%
Tim Patrick 73% 48% 14% 36% 86% 70% 87% 71%
Billy Turner 5% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Matt LaCosse 38% 34% 47% 80% 81% 93% 78%
Brian Parker 6% 9% 16% 17% 20% 18% 82% 29%
Max Garcia 100%
Elijah Wilkinson 61% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
River Cracraft 11% 4% 5% 2% 3% 1% 4% 10%
Cyrus Kouandjio 4% 10%
Andre Holmes 26% 11% 1%
Temarrick Hemingway 1% 4%
Sam Jones 6% 14%
Gino Gradkowski 22%

Full season offensive snap counts and percentages:

Player Pos Num Pct
Case Keenum QB 1073 99.91%
Garett Bolles T 1062 98.88%
Connor McGovern G 1056 98.32%
Billy Turner G 824 76.72%
Courtland Sutton WR 819 76.26%
Jared Veldheer T 704 65.55%
Emmanuel Sanders WR 658 61.27%
Matt Paradis C 569 52.98%
Jeff Heuerman TE 555 51.68%
Elijah Wilkinson T 520 48.42%
DaeSean Hamilton WR 471 43.85%
Phillip Lindsay RB 453 42.18%
Matt LaCosse TE 418 38.92%
Demaryius Thomas WR 405 37.71%
Tim Patrick WR 393 36.59%
Ronald Leary G 383 35.66%
Devontae Booker RB 316 29.42%
Royce Freeman RB 308 28.68%
Max Garcia G 242 22.53%
Andy Janovich FB 239 22.25%
Brian Parker TE 146 13.59%
Jake Butt TE 97 9.03%
Andre Holmes WR 28 2.61%
River Cracraft WR 27 2.51%
Gino Gradkowski C 17 1.58%
Sam Jones C 15 1.40%
Cyrus Kouandjio T 8 0.74%
Temarrick Hemingway TE 4 0.37%
Isaiah McKenzie WR 3 0.28%
Chad Kelly QB 1 0.09%

By playing Sam Jones in the final two games of the season, it meant that the Broncos played every healthy drafted player that we selected in 2018 with the exception of David Williams (who was signed by the Jags off of our practice squad in October). We drafted 10 players and eight of them took offensive or defensive snaps for us in 2018. Four of them were active for all 16 games this season (Bradley Chubb, Josey Jewell, Courtland Sutton and Keishawn Bierria). That is a big departure from the days when John Fox was loathe to play rookies as our head coach. Part of this was from necessity due to injury, but some has to be seen as improved talent evaluation in the draft. Hopefully we can have another extremely productive draft in 2019.

As much as I maligned our coaching staff in 2018, I have to praise the offensive line coaches for the job that they did. We had a guard playing center (Connor McGovern) and two tackles playing guard (Wilkinson and Billy Turner) and we still had a functional offense (until the final three games of the season). Also note that the offensive line was able to keep our starting QB healthy and playing for all 16 regular season games - something that they were not able to do in the previous two seasons. 2015 doesn’t count because Peyton Manning’s foot injury was actually suffered during the 2014 season.

Defensive snap percentages from the second half of the season

Player Game 9 Game 10 Game 11 Game 12 Game 13 Game 14 Game 15 Game 16
Justin Simmons 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Chris Harris 98% 97% 97% 16%
Darian Stewart 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 90%
Bradley Roby 81% 88% 100% 100% 79% 100% 93%
Bradley Chubb 76% 77% 77% 82% 83% 87% 79% 69%
Von Miller 82% 77% 69% 91% 85% 82% 85% 69%
Brandon Marshall 54% 39% 39%
Derek Wolfe 68% 69% 62% 26% 69% 63% 77% 61%
Todd Davis 84% 88% 82% 99% 96% 72% 63% 51%
Domata Peko 53% 51% 33% 50% 49% 45% 45% 44%
Will Parks 100% 43% 54% 54% 42% 72% 60% 61%
Adam Gotsis 44% 39% 45% 59% 60% 63% 61% 63%
Shane Ray 21% 32% 31% 40% 43%
Shelby Harris 40% 36% 46% 51% 35% 36% 35% 44%
Zach Kerr 39% 32% 38% 47% 46% 42% 47% 44%
Josey Jewell 77% 53% 41% 12% 72% 46% 61% 61%
Shaquil Barrett 31% 30% 28% 24% 41%
Tramaine Brock 85% 65% 41% 93% 74% 76%
Isaac Yiadom 1% 29% 85% 79% 39% 51%
Dymonte Thomas 8% 34% 7%
DeMarcus Walker 15%
Su'a Cravens 44% 21% 31% 50% 22%
Keishawn Bierria 6% 1% 6% 1% 1% 10%
Joseph Jones 35% 1%
Jamar Taylor 10% 3%
Jeff Holland 31% 11% 25%

Just like injuries were the story on the offensive side of the ball, they were also the story on the defensive side of the ball. In every position group we had significant contributors miss extended periods of time with injury and/or get placed on the IR. We also had a player see his skills evaporate in Darian Stewart. This caused Justin Simmons to try and pick up his slack leading to deterioration in his play relative to 2017. I will note that Simmons was the only player on the team to play every defensive (or offensive) snap this season.

Player Position Defensive Snaps %
Justin Simmons FS 1077 100.0%
Bradley Roby CB 926 86.0%
Darian Stewart SS 874 81.2%
Bradley Chubb LB 844 78.4%
Von Miller LB 844 78.4%
Todd Davis LB 842 78.2%
Chris Harris CB 747 69.4%
Derek Wolfe DE 709 65.8%
Will Parks SS 572 53.1%
Domata Peko NT 522 48.5%
Adam Gotsis DE 512 47.5%
Brandon Marshall LB 468 43.5%
Josey Jewell LB 459 42.6%
Tramaine Brock CB 437 40.6%
Zach Kerr DE 394 36.6%
Shelby Harris NT 390 36.2%
Shaquil Barrett LB 275 25.5%
Isaac Yiadom CB 263 24.4%
Shane Ray LB 253 23.5%
Adam Jones CB 148 13.7%
Su'a Cravens SS 117 10.9%
Jeff Holland LB 43 4.0%
Dymonte Thomas FS 42 3.9%
Joseph Jones LB 25 2.3%
DeMarcus Walker DE 21 2.0%
Shamarko Thomas SS 19 1.8%
Keishawn Bierria LB 18 1.7%
Jamar Taylor CB 9 0.8%
Alexander Johnson LB 0 0.0%
Brendan Langley CB 0 0.0%
Trey Marshall SS 0 0.0%

Key points to take away from our player utilization/development in 2018

  1. Brendan Langley is officially a bust. The Broncos were literally scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as CB talent was concerned and Langley got exactly zero defensive snaps this season. Langley has to be one of the worst reaches in franchise history rivaling our use of a 4th round pick on Maurice Clarrett.
  2. DeMarcus Walker is an enigma. I have no explanation for why he was kept as a game-day inactive for the final meaningless two games of the season or for why has got a grand total of 21 defensive snaps this season. We are now two full seasons into his NFL career and we have seen less defensive playing time from him than we saw from Zaire Anderson in 2017. Walker now has 121 career defensive snaps. Anderson got 135 in 2017. Keep in mind that Brendan Langley got 108 defensive snaps in 2017. I wish somebody in Dove Valley could explain their actions regarding Walker. We might have to accept the the possibility that he is a bust (although he played well in the preseason and he was effective in the very limited snaps he got this year).
  3. We apparently can develop offensive lineman - now. Max Garcia prior to his injury was playing at his highest level so far in the NFL. Connor McGovern looks like a legitimate starter at both guard and center. Elijah Wilkinson was not an embarrassment at guard despite not playing there since high school. Billy Turner looked serviceable at guard. Even the much-maligned Garett Bolles improved this season relative to his rookie year (despite the high number of holding penalties).
  4. We have some good young talent on this team that might make it easier to move on from some of the veterans who are either free agents in 2019 (e.g. Matt Paradis, Max Garcia, Jared Veldheer and Domata Peko) or who have big cap hits (Brandon Marshall, Derek Wolfe, Emmanuel Sanders, Ronald Leary and Darian Stewart). I would not be the least bit surprised if none of those players listed above were on the team in 2019 - I would be unhappy about a few of them, but not surprised.

Definitely let me know your thoughts on how we used and/or misused our talent this season?

Poll

Biggest surprise about our snap counts this season?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    DeMarcus Walker still not getting any playing time
    (196 votes)
  • 22%
    How effective Turner and Wilkinson were at guard
    (75 votes)
  • 8%
    The Case Keenum was able to take all but one snap at QB
    (28 votes)
  • 7%
    That Brendan Langley got zero defensive snaps
    (24 votes)
  • 3%
    something else - mention in comments
    (13 votes)
336 votes total Vote Now