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Biggest surprises on Broncos’ nearly-complete roster

Mile High Report staff members share their thoughts on the Broncos’ initial 53-man roster.

“It’s always a hard day because you break a lot of dreams—you ruin a lot of dreams. It’s the hard part of the business, but we’re really excited about the personnel side—what we’ve done there, as well as the coaching staff, the input and trying to get everybody’s input in there to get the best 53 guys.” — John Elway

Every cut day is memorable for it’s own reasons. The 2019 cut deadline will go down as perhaps the first one I can remember where the Broncos dropped below the 53-man hard cap. With IR looming for Drew Lock, Theo Riddick, and Jake Butt, that meant Elway only envisioned 49 players as guys to hold onto at the deadline.

The Broncos still have room for one more addition. Who will it be?

So I asked the gang at Mile High Report on their thoughts on this year’s initial roster.

Our conversation has been lightly edited.

Who was the biggest surprise cut?

Adam: I was surprised to see Khalfani Muhammad’s name on the cut list. He wasn’t a lock to make the team, but I felt like his name came up a lot over the course of training camp. When a guy’s name keeps popping up, it is usually a good sign.

Tim: DeShawn Williams was the biggest surprise to me. Vic Fangio had even mentioned him as one of the guys - along with Mike Purcell - who could fill the void left from the teams’ release of Zach Kerr. Hopefully we’ll see Williams back in the orange and blue soon.

Kevin: I’m not going to lie, I was surprised by the Zach Kerr cut. I didn’t even know the name Purcell until the third preseason game. Well done by him to beat out another vet.

Ian: I’m with Kevin, I didn’t see the Kerr move coming. And that speaks to how well Purcell has played.

JoRo: For me it’s probably Shamarko Thomas. He looked like a near lock after the 49er game and offers a lot to special teams. One other surprise was John Leglue, who offers versatility to play both right tackle and guard.

Who was the biggest surprise “survivor”?

Tim: Jake Butt. It just feels like his NFL journey is all but done, but maybe they know something about his knee that the rest of us don’t. However, right now it just feels like a roster spot could have been better used there.

Ian: No doubt for me it’s Butt. What will be interesting is the two guys Denver brings off IR. If one of them is not Butt, it’s clear this was a waste of a roster spot. Hope it works out for him because he has the potential to be a good player, but resting on hope and potential is a fool’s errand.

“I think he played a better all-around game than the guys he was competing against.”

I wrote him off weeks ago because he’s looked straight up bad in most of the games. He’s the only player on the current roster where my view is basically “welp, I have to trust in the ‘Don of Defense.’”

One position you hope the Broncos add help?

Adam: The position on defense that needs the most attention is inside linebacker. John Elway doesn’t seem to value this position, but it is clear that Denver needs help there. Hopefully, something can happen that will allow a solid veteran to join the squad and start contributing. There isn’t a Pro Bowl left tackle out there that the Broncos could go get, is there?

Kevin: I’m not at all in love with this receiving corps. I’d love to bring in someone like DT to replace Tim Patrick or a returner to kick Cracraft to the street.

Ian: Based on what Elway told the media on Saturday, the Broncos have a plan at middle linebacker he just can’t announce it yet (which would mean it’s not Corey Nelson since Elway announced that). So I’m going with offensive line. Get another versatile veteran in the mix for the inevitable injuries.

JoRo: Safety because of Marshall. I’d also really like another tackle for the offensive line. With both Ju’Wuan James and Ronald Leary’s injury histories, there remains a decent chance backups will be pressed into action this year. At present it looks like Elijah Wilkinson or Dalton Risner would have to slide out to tackle, or James would have to move over to left tackle if something happened to Bolles.

What do you think of the waiver additions?

As we were publishing, waiver additions were being added to the 53-man roster. So far they include:

Andrew Beck, fullback

Corey Levin, offensive line

Davontae Harris, defensive back

Brandon Allen, quarterback

Corey Nelson, linebacker

Diontae Spencer, wide receiver/returner

How do you feel about those new additions, Broncos Country?


What do you think of this nearly complete roster?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    LOVE IT!
    (357 votes)
  • 9%
    HATE IT.
    (182 votes)
  • 72%
    I’ll tell you at the end of the season
    (1420 votes)
1959 votes total Vote Now