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Broncos Final 2021 Roster Prediction

Who will make the Broncos 53?

Now that the dust has settled on the Denver Broncos 3-0 preseason, it’s time to look ahead. There are 14 days until kickoff against the Giants. By Tuesday at 4 pm EST, George Paton will need to have the roster cut down to the final 53.

Here’s my last best guess at first iteration of the 2021 Broncos.

3 Specialists

Brandon McManus, Sam Martin, Jacob Bobenmoyer

10 Defensive Backs

Kyle Fuller, Ronald Darby, Bryce Callahan, Patrick Surtain II, Kareem Jackson, Justin Simmons, Caden Sterns, P.J. Locke III, Jamar Johnson, Michael Ojemudia+

  • Callahan looms as a potential trade chip. Moving him would create $7,176,471 in cap space and cost $1,333,334 against the cap.
  • Ojemudia will probably land on Injured Reserve once we reach the regular season, but he has to stay on the active roster through the cut deadline.
  • The Broncos will probably carry a few practice squad corners. Kary Vincent makes a ton of sense as a developmental prospect, and Nate Hairston is immediate insurance if another injury strikes before OJ’s healthy. Both could draw interest from around the league.

4 Linebackers

Alexander Johnson, Josey Jewell, Justin Strnad, and Baron Browning

  • When the Broncos waived Josh Watson last week it seemed to suggest a move towards Barrington Wade or Curtis Robinson on the practice squad.
  • Linebacker is also one spot we could see Paton add outside talent to the practice squad.

4 Edge Rushers

Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Malik Reed, Jonathon Cooper

  • If Andre Mintze can make it through waivers, I suspect he lands on the practice squad.
  • It wouldn’t surprise me if Derrek Tuszka finds his way onto someone’s roster as an ED4. The numbers game in Denver hurts him. He’s also light at the point of attack and doesn’t bring enough in his repertoire as a rusher. His fluidity in space and how he can pitch in on special teams should help him going forward.

6 Defensive Linemen

Shelby Harris, Dre’Mont Jones, Mike Purcell, McTelvin Agim, Shamar Stephen, DeShawn Williams

  • Jonathan Harris would make a ton of sense for the practice squad if he can make it through waivers.
  • Marquiss Spencer will probably land on the practice squad.

7 Wide Receivers

Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler, Tim Patrick, Trinity Benson, Diontae Spencer, Seth Williams

  • The preseason finale helped Spencer because none of the other returners did much with their chances. When you add that to the veteran’s performance against the Seahawks, he’ll make the gameday roster.
  • Williams big catch in the Vikings game and his long run after Drew Lock’s dumpoff in Seattle will have him on rival GM’s radars, so I suspect Paton will hold onto his 2021 sixth round pick.
  • I expect Kendall Hinton and Tyrie Cleveland to make the practice squad if they don’t land on another roster.

9 Offensive Linemen

Garett Bolles, Dalton Risner, Lloyd Cushenberry, Graham Glasgow, Bobby Massie, Calvin Anderson, Quinn Meinerz, Netane Muti, Cameron Fleming

4 Tight ends/fullbacks

Noah Fant, Albert Okwuegbunam, Eric Saubert, Andrew Beck

  • I believe the Broncos will try to keep Adam Prentice on the practice squad.
  • Tom McMahon’s presser last Thursday made it clear Saubert and Beck had made the roster.
  • An unsung wildcard is Fant’s health. It sounds like he could play against the Giants, but if there’s any doubt it could make sense to hold onto an extra tight end or Prentice.
  • Shaun Beyer is a sneaky practice squad candidate.

4 Running Backs

Melvin Gordon, Javonte “Pookie” Williams, Royce Freeman, and Mike Boone+

  • We heard Boone’s injury was a 4-6 week injury on August 13th, which puts his week one status in doubt and it’s risky to enter the regular season with two ball carriers.
  • Freeman’s not as explosive as Pookie and doesn’t possess Gordon’s vision, but he’s a steady passing down back in a throwing league.
  • A wild card is how Freeman’s been floated in trade talks. Before Boone’s injury it seemed Paton would try to move the veteran before cutting him. Perhaps Crocket’s a serviceable short term replacement if the 2018 3rd round pick can net a draft pick.

2 Quarterbacks

Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock

  • I think the Broncos will choose to gamble on losing Brett Rypien to waivers. They have two quarterbacks who could start, a numbers crunch across the roster, issues on special teams, and George Paton will have confidence he can replace find an adequate replacement.