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Broncos offensive line instability

Denver Broncos instability on the OL, familiarity with the guy next to you makes the whole unit better.

NFL: DEC 12 Lions at Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A great deal of high level offensive line play comes from communication before and during the play by the five guys on the offensive line. A lack of playing time together and familiarity with the guy(s) starting next to you, can really hinder the performance of the offensive line as a group.

Over the course of the last four regular seasons the Denver Broncos have used 25 different starting offensive lines - nine of which occurred in 2021.

The most stable position on the offensive line has been left tackle where only two players have started since 2018 (inclusive) - Garett Bolles (61 starts) and Calvin Anderson (four starts). The next most stable position is a tie between center and left guard where four men have started at each position.

Left Guard:

  • Ronald Leary (6 starts)
  • Max Garcia (3)
  • Dalton Risner (47)
  • Netane Muti (2)

Center:

  • Matt Paradis (9)
  • Connor McGovern (23)
  • Lloyd Cushenberry (32)
  • Austin Schlottmann (1)

We have had eight different men starting at right guard, but none more than 20 games:

  • McGovern (8)
  • Garcia (1)
  • Elijah Wilkinson (7)
  • Leary (12)
  • Schlottmann (6)
  • Graham Glasgow (20)
  • Muti (2)
  • Quinn Meinerz (8)

The most unstable offensive line position for Broncos has been right tackle where nine different men has started 2018-2021 and no player has started more than 19 games:

  • Jared Veldheer (12)
  • Billy Turner (4)
  • Ju’Wuan James (3)
  • Wilkinson (19)
  • (not Aaron) Rodgers (1)
  • DeMar Dotson (8)
  • Anderson (1)
  • Bobby Massie (13)
  • Cameron Fleming (4)

With the regular season now 17 games, no Bronco has manned the right guard or right tackle spot for more than 19 games. In other words, over the course of the last four seasons, the right side of the Bronco offensive line has been in almost constant flux (as the GIF in the tweet above shows).

The Broncos have reworked Glasgow’s contract so he should be back at RG for 2022, but given his recent injury history it’s not wise to count on him. Of the guys who started at RT for us in 2021, both are currently free agents. Calvin Anderson is a restricted free agent so he could be brought back in for relatively little money, but he has started exactly one NFL game at right tackle in his career. George Paton indicated that the Broncos plan to address the RT situation in the draft this year.

While the right tackle situation is dire, the right guard situation is not that much better. Having a stable and healthy offensive line could go a long way to getting more points on offense than the team has been able to generate over the past four years.

Poll

What OL position is the most critical to address this off-season with free agents of draftees?

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    Right tackle
    (780 votes)
  • 1%
    Right guard
    (16 votes)
  • 8%
    Center
    (77 votes)
  • 1%
    Left guard
    (12 votes)
885 votes total Vote Now