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No Bull Broncos Roster Status Part 4: Special Teams

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A No Bull look at the current Denver Broncos roster, its strengths, weaknesses, and what we can expect to target in free agency and the draft.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

With the season over and a huge change in coaching regime for the Denver Broncos, it is a great time to step back, take a look at the roster, and play a little armchair GM before free agency. All of this is my own personal opinion based off what I’ve seen from the players on the field.

Series links:

Part 1: Defensive Line

Part 2: Linebackers

Part 3: Secondary

Special Teams are up this week for us to look more closely and find out what holes the Broncos should be looking to fill in the 2019 NFL offseason.

Player Rating Key:

1 - Project / developmental - lacking necessary skills to contribute as it stands today

2 - Backup quality - Can play, but isn’t a guy you want out there every snap

3 - Mediocre starter - Doesn’t bring anything special to the table, but is able to do the job

4 - Good starter - An above-average talent

5 - Blue chip player - Top 10 talent in the NFL at what he does

Unit Rating Key:

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 - Elite talent level

Kickers:

2018 Kicking Stats

No. Player Age Pos G FGA 20-29 FGM 20-29 FGA 30-39 FGM 30-39 FGA 40-49 FGM 40-49 FGA 50+ FGM 50+ FGA FGM FG% XPA XPM XP%
No. Player Age Pos G FGA 20-29 FGM 20-29 FGA 30-39 FGM 30-39 FGA 40-49 FGM 40-49 FGA 50+ FGM 50+ FGA FGM FG% XPA XPM XP%
8 Brandon McManus 27 K 16 5 5 6 6 7 7 7 2 25 20 80.00% 35 35 100.00%
profootballreference.com, www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/snapcounts

Brandon McManus - 4

If you want to knock McManus, talk about his percentage of made 50+ FGs. That’s the only area of concern in his game. Honestly, had our offense been more capable, we would have gotten a better look at how he is doing as a kicker, but the guy only got 25 attempts on the season.

He’s money on extra points (not a given in today’s game) and he’s money inside 50 yards. I expect no changes at kicker as he’s one example of a guy who was doing his job at a high level all year long.

2018 Punting Stats

No. Player Age Pos G Pnt Yds Lng Blck Y/P
No. Player Age Pos G Pnt Yds Lng Blck Y/P
3 Colby Wadman 23 P 12 65 2905 65 0 44.7

Colby Wadman - 4

The switch at punter this season had me scratching my head a bit. At the end of the day the team probably gained most in not having locker room negativity or player / coach negativity (more likely the later). Wadman did a good job at punter. Look for him to hopefully improve his game in 2019.

Overview - 4

I really like both the kickers we have on the team and don’t see any reason to look for something better. Both are under contract and executing their job at a high level.

Returners:

2018 Returner Stats

No. Player Age Pos G GS P / Ret P / Yds P / Lng P / Y/R K / Rt K / Yds K / Lng K / Y/Rt APYd
No. Player Age Pos G GS P / Ret P / Yds P / Lng P / Y/R K / Rt K / Yds K / Lng K / Y/Rt APYd
30 Phillip Lindsay* 24 RB 15 8 3 23 15 7.7 7 163 32 23.3 1471
11 River Cracraft 24 WR 8 0 12 40 20 3.3 3 43 23 14.3 127
23 Devontae Booker 26 RB 16 0 0 0 0 0 10 234 35 23.4 692
27 Brendan Langley 24 CB 5 0 0 0 0 0 4 61 18 15.3 61
17 DaeSean Hamilton 23 WR 14 5 3 31 13 10.3 0 0 0 0 274
profootballreference.com, www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/snapcounts

Phillip Lindsay - 4

I’m not a fan of having a play making starting RB return kicks. He’s very good at it, but the risk is too great and the reward too little in the grand scheme of things.

River Cracraft - 1

Cracraft was the token depth guy they threw back there to do the job. He wasn’t particularly good at it in all honesty and the team should probably look in another direction.

Devontae Booker - 3

Honestly Booker did a pretty decent job in the return game. He doesn’t bring any real home-run hitting ability to the table, but he knows how to gain some yards and catch the ball. He’s the guy I expect to see as our depth returner this year and it is a role he’s well and capable of filling.

Brendan Langley - 1

He only got a few attempts on the season and did nothing special with any of them.

DaeSean Hamilton - 2

Hamilton honestly looked like our best punt returner on the year from a raw stats perspective. The numbers are a bit skewed though as he only had 3 returns on the season.

Overview - 2

Honestly the Broncos have been whiffing in the return game dating back to when Trindon Holliday didn’t suck. It hasn’t been a big priority for the team and I’m not even sure it will be with as many needs as the team has. Finding a great returner is oftentimes a luxury pick in the draft, not something you make a plan to go after.

That being said, I’d love the Broncos to keep an eye out for guys that showed the ability to return in college as it would be nice for them to have an answer in this group instead of just slinging stuff against the wall to see what sticks.

Roster status overall:

Defensive Line:

Defensive Ends 3

Nose Tackles 1

Linebackers:

Outside Linebackers 3

Inside Linebackers 2

Secondary:

Cornerbacks 2

Safeties 3

Kicking:

Kickers 4

Returners 2