The Denver Broncos had to trim their roster from 80 to 53 players before the NFL deadline today at 2 PM MT. While the roster will remain fluid throughout the regular season because of injuries, additions, etc., we have our first look at what George Paton’s 2021 team will actually look like.
Brandon McManus, Sam Martin, Jacob Bobenmoyer
- We’ve known these were the guys since Max Duffy was released in June.
Preseason scoring leaders:— Andersen Pickard (@AndersenPickard) August 30, 2021
1. Rhamondre Stevenson - 30
2. Brandon McManus - 24
3. Ka'imi Fairbairn - 22
4. Sam Ficken - 21
5. Tyler Bass - 20
6. Rodrigo Blankenship - 19
T7. Jake Verity, Chris Boswell, Josh Lambo - 18
A rookie running back amidst a group of kickers. Special. pic.twitter.com/aCQNOFNXiX
11 Defensive Backs
Kyle Fuller, Ronald Darby, Bryce Callahan, Patrick Surtain II, Kareem Jackson, Justin Simmons, Caden Sterns, P.J. Locke III, Jamar Johnson, Kary Vincent, and Michael Ojemudia+
- Earlier this week Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported that NFL teams had shown interest in Kyle Fuller, Bryce Callahan, Nate Hairston, and Saivion Smith, which could make Hairston and Smith’s trip through waivers interesting.
- Duke Dawson and Essang Bassey will open the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Neither has left the list throughout training camp after tearing their ACLs late in the 2020 season. Landing on PUP means they’ll be eligible to return to play after six weeks. They do not count against the 53-man roster limit.
After the cut deadline any player on IR can return in 3 weeks. This looks likely for Mike Boone and Michael Ojemudia.— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) August 31, 2021
Any player on PUP must miss 6 weeks. This could be the case for Duke Dawson and Essang Bassey. Both Broncos corners tore ACLs late in 2020.
Alexander Johnson, Josey Jewell, Justin Strnad, Baron Browning, and Jonas Griffith
- It wouldn’t surprise me if undrafted rookie Curtis Robinson or Barrington Wade make their way to the practice squad. Both could help on special teams down the road.
- The Broncos sent a 2022 sixth-round pick and 2023 seventh-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for linebacker Jonas Griffith this morning.
5 Edge Rushers
Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Malik Reed, Jonathon Cooper, and Andre Mintze
- If Miller, Chubb, and Reed stay healthy this is going to be one of the best edge rooms in the NFL. If Cooper can build on what he showed in camp, the group is going to be incredible.
160-ish pound #15 Tutu Atwell attempting to block 275-ish pound #55 Bradley Chubb pic.twitter.com/pP0TZudptT— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) August 31, 2021
6 Defensive Linemen
Shelby Harris, Dre’Mont Jones, Mike Purcell, McTelvin Agim, DeShawn Williams, and Jonathan Harris
- There’s been little question about this group throughout camp. While they won’t receive the fanfare, the Broncos look like they’ll have one of the best interior lines in the NFL this season.
- I’m surprised Shamar Stephen was cut. He outplayed Jonathan Harris by what I saw in the preseason and dumping him means the Broncos will eat $750,000 in a dead cap hit.
The #Broncos Dre'Mont Jones with the 16th highest True Sack Rate for interior D-line players.— T. Kothe (@tkothe_nfl) August 30, 2021
He's also the 3rd youngest player in the top 25.
Jones is going to do some fun stuff this year with Miller & Chubb demanding extra attention on both ends of the line. https://t.co/AT5snkL3wp
5 Wide Receivers
Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler, Tim Patrick, Diontae Spencer
- Pat Shurmur used three receiver sets on 66% of the Broncos’ offensive plays in 2020, so I expect the Broncos to bring back Seth Williams, Kendall Hinton, or Tyrie Cleveland if they do not add outside help.
- Health is going to be a big question for this group. Sutton was limited to 31 snaps in 2020 because of a torn ACL, while Hamler missed time because of a hamstring injury and eventually landed on Injured Reserve because of a concussion. Patrick also played in just eight games in 2019 because of a hand injury.
Jerry Jeudy posted a 75% success rate vs. man coverage in #ReceptionPerception. That was 3rd best among rookies last year and falls at the 87th percentile in RP history. https://t.co/bnSlIKZR1S pic.twitter.com/0hpi5dGQca— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) August 25, 2021
8 Offensive Linemen
Garett Bolles, Dalton Risner, Lloyd Cushenberry, Graham Glasgow, Bobby Massie, Calvin Anderson, Quinn Meinerz, Netane Muti
- The Broncos look set to start Bolles, Risner, Cushenberry, Glasgow, and Massie along the offensive line.
- Anderson looks like the swing tackle.
- Hopefully it’s a question that never needs answering, but I’m curious if the coaching staff would slide Glasgow to center or roll with Meinerz at the pivot in the event of a Cushenberry injury.
- Cutting Cameron Fleming cost the Broncos $1 million in dead money.
I've enjoyed studying OT Calvin Anderson from the Broncos this offseason. Has his flaws and limitations but he is an aggressive setting player with good grip strength. Love how he is able to control this block with his left arm on Alton Robinson pic.twitter.com/W7sxTB1k3I— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) August 26, 2021
4 Tight ends/fullbacks
Noah Fant, Albert Okwuegbunam, Eric Saubert, Andrew Beck
- We’ve known since at least last Thursday that Saubert and Beck would make the roster.
- Beck’s the “starting” fullback as well as the TE4.
Everybody just take a chill pill toady. It’s obviously much needed— Noah Fant (@nrfant) August 25, 2021
4 Running Backs
Melvin Gordon, Javonte “Pookie” Williams, Royce Freeman, and Mike Boone+
- The Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran has confirmed my suspicions that Mike Boone will open the season on Injured Reserve. The way IR works in today’s NFL means the Broncos have to carry him through the 53-man deadline today before they can place him on the reserve if they wish to activate him again in 2021. This means Boone counts against the 53-man roster today, but won’t suit up until the Baltimore Ravens game in week 4 at the earliest.
- Once Boone is healthy I expect the Broncos to try and move Freeman. One reason I expect Damarea Crockett to land on the practice squad.
Javonte Williams has all the tools to become a star with the Broncos. pic.twitter.com/ndNC7eBPtx— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) May 17, 2021
Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock
- As I write this it looks like Brett Rypien will be the Broncos QB3 off of the practice squad.
The parallels are remarkable— Tyler Forness (@TheRealForno) August 30, 2021
-Traded up for their 2nd round rookie RB
-Hard nosed, defensive coach