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Elway: There will be an open competition at left tackle between Garett Bolles and Elijah Wilkinson

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There will be an open competition at left tackle between Bolles and Wilkinson

Denver Broncos v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

After day two of the 2020 NFL Draft was completed, Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway and Head Coach Vic Fangio met with the media to discuss the selections they made that night. During these questions, someone asked Elway about tackle Garett Bolles would be the Broncos starting tackle once the 2020 season opens. Elway told reporters that Bolles would be facing competition for that job from Elijah Wilkinson and would not name him the starter right now.

Here is the full quote from John Elway.

“Garett’s going to compete for a job like everybody else on the football team. The bottom line is [G/T] Eli Wilkinson will be back. They’re going to compete for jobs like everybody else. I think it’s our job on the personnel side to give Vic and his staff the best players we can to create that competition. That’s what our job is to do on the personnel side. Garett Bolles is going to compete like everybody else. These young guys, it doesn’t matter what round they’re drafted in, they still have to come in and compete. I will say this, we’re thrilled with the type of guys they are too. It’s been a focus. We’ve got quality guys that want to play football, that like the game, know what it takes to be successful. Obviously, they’re going to be very young, but I think that the best thing that we can do for our football team is create that competition because it brings the best out in everyone. Those who don’t want to compete—you know what—they can go somewhere else. We’re all about the competition and the best player is going to play.”

This is big news as it’s the first time Bolles has really faced competition for the left tackle job despite his uneven play.

We all know the story behind Garett Bolles. We all knew he was going to be the draft pick and honestly, the fan base never wanted him or really even warmed up to him before he was even with the team. Then, when he joined the team, holding calls and uneven play became the norm for Bolles during his time with the team. Now, he’s facing whether or not the team will pick up his fifth-year option or not and now fighting for his starting job.

As for his fifth-year option, it seems unlikely at this point that the Broncos will pick this up. You don’t publicly demote someone THEN proceed to pick up his pricey option a week or so later. So Bolles will be fighting for his future with the team this summer whenever they’re able to hit the practice field.

As for Wilkinson, he may have an edge because he reportedly is a favorite of Hall Of Fame Offensive Line Coach, Mike Munchak. Ben Allbright tweeted this nugget out last month and it now makes a ton of sense with everything we know.

This likely explains why the Broncos did not draft an offensive tackle during the 2020 NFL Draft. They already had a young developmental who the offensive line guru is keen about.

Now could they still add a veteran to the mix? Woody Paige who has good connections within the Broncos organization tweeted out that he thinks will happen at the left tackle position. He said that he believes that they will sign a veteran tackle like Jason Peters, Kelvin Beachum or Cordy Glenn.

Beachum as Woody points out has a history with Munchak and would likely be the logical choice of the three. Jason Peters might be the best of the bunch, but he’s 39 years old and has missed 12 total games the past three seasons. So there’s some risk there but it might be worth it. Cordy Glenn was once a top left tackle in the NFL but his play has dropped a bit and is coming off a disappointing tenure with the Bengals.

So either way, we’re going to see the Broncos have some competition at left tackle between Garett Bolles and Elijah Wilkinson at least. Will we see a veteran enter the mix? We shall see, but Bolles starting job and potential roster spot seem far from a given currently.

Poll

What would like to see happen at left tackle?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Bolles wins out and you deal with his up and down play
    (435 votes)
  • 23%
    Wilkinson win out and see what he has to offer
    (423 votes)
  • 13%
    Sign Jason Peters
    (252 votes)
  • 29%
    Sign Kelvin Beachum
    (535 votes)
  • 9%
    Sign Cordy Glenn
    (181 votes)
1826 votes total Vote Now