The key to Nathaniel Hackett’s offense is going to be the offensive line. Getting the best 5 players is going to be key and to some extent puts the roster status of incumbent starters up in the air. Dalton Risner is going to need to ball out if he wants to keep his role as a key starter up front.
#66 Dalton Risner
Height: 6’ 5”
Experience: 4th year
College: Kansas State
The Broncos selected Risner in the 2nd round of the 2019 NFL draft. He’s been a starter since day one in every game he’s played. His 2021 NFL season was more rocky than his first two, but with a reinvigorated offense, he’s got the opportunity to get back to playing the kind of football that gets him a big contract next year.
How he fits with the Broncos
Risner’s game has always seemed to me to be grounded in the stout power that he brings to the field. He’s good at anchoring and has shown a really good ability to redirect opponents utilizing leverage and raw strength. He’s athletic as well and has shown the ability to pull and block across the formation.
The worrisome thing we saw last season from Risner was a drop in power for some reason. No injury news indicated a problem, but it honestly looked like he had lost something in his ability to take hits without giving ground. To be fair, we saw the whole offensive line underperform especially in pass blocking. That leads this author to think the problem could have had more to do with coaching than the personnel itself.
We’ve heard from OTAs Risner is mentioned as a guy that is taking to the system and performing at a high level (keep in mind that it is just OTAs…we can care more when we see him playing well with pads on).
At the end of the day, Risner is a football player. That’s the best compliment I can give the guy. He’s going to be a starter week 1 for the Broncos. He has the brains, athleticism, and power to be an all-pro starter at left guard for the Broncos.