I attempted this before the start of training camp but now with camp now in the books and the Denver Broncos in the midst of their preseason games, I am going to take another attempt at predicting the Broncos' 53-man roster.
Since the last attempt, the Broncos lost Tim Patrick for the year with an ACL injury and multiple roster battles have become more clear. However, there are a few positions where the battle for the final few roster spots is still going strong. I am going to do by best to predict these outcomes.
- Russell Wilson and Josh Johnson
Obviously, Russell Wilson is the Broncos starter but the battle for who is backing him up is still raging on. Veteran Josh Johnson outplayed Rypien during the preseason opener and all signs point to him being the Broncos' backup
Running Back (3)
- Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon, and Mike Boone
Not much has changed here. Javonte is your 1A while Gordon is your 1B. Boone will serve as depth and contribute on special teams.
- Andrew Beck
It sounds like the Broncos will be carrying a fullback on the roster and Beck is currently the only one on the roster so, his odds of making the team seem pretty good.
Wide Receiver (6)
- Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler, Montrell Washington, Kendall Hinton, and Brandon Johnson
This is where things get interesting. With Patrick now out for the year, K.J. Hamler gets a shot to be the Broncos' third receiver in the Broncos offense. Rookie, Montrell Washington had a great camp and figures to contribute on offense as well. The final two spots are up for grabs and I have them going to Hall of Famer Kendall Hinton and impressive-looking undrafted rookie Brandon Johnson.
Tight End (4)
- Albert Okwuegbunam, Greg Dulcich, Eric Tomlinson, and Eric Saubert
Not much has changed here either. Albert O. is your starter while rookie Greg Dulcich, Eric Tomlinson, and Eric Saubert are your reserves. Dulcich is nursing a hamstring injury while Tomlinson and Saubert make it as blockers. Albert O. has struggled with blocking so you’ll need some blocking specialists on the team.
- Garett Bolles, Billy Turner, and Calvin Anderson
No real surprises here. Bolles starts at left tackle while Billy Turner is your starter at right tackle. I have Anderson as your swing tackle and veteran Tom Compton placed on the regular season PUP
- Dalton Risner, Quinn Meinerz, Netane Muti, and Graham Glasgow
Another position that’s pretty much settled. Risner and Meinerz are your starters while Muti and Glasgow are your backups.
- Lloyd Cushenberry and Luke Wattenberg
Cush is your starter and has been earning praise throughout camp from his defensive teammates so hopefully, he will continue to impress. I also have the rookie Wattenberg making the team even if Glasgow is likely the true backup center.
Defensive End (4)
- Dre’Mont Jones, DeShawn Williams, Eyioma Uwazurike, and McTelvin Agim
This is one position I expect Paton to add to during the final cut-down period. Jones is legit while Williams has been a solid player for the Broncos, but the depth is concerning. The rookie Uwazurike looks promising but is a rookie while Agim has not contributed much since entering the league. So, I’d like to see a reliable veteran added here to either start and move Williams to the rotational role or someone to replace Agim.
Nose Tackle (2)
- D.J. Jones and Matt Hennigsen
Jones is the big man in the middle who will anchor the line while the rookie Hennigsen looked solid in the middle against the Cowboys. I think Purcell is the odd man out here.
- Bradley Chubb, Randy Gregory, Baron Browning, Nik Bonitto, Aaron Patrick, and Jonathon Cooper
This is the Broncos' deepest unit and one full of talent. Gregory and Chubb are your starters while the explosive Baron Browning and rookie Nik Bonitto are the backups. I have Aaron Patrick and Jonathon Cooper rounding out the group as special teams help.
With the depth here, I see the Broncos putting Malik Reed on the trade block. Browning’s emergence makes him expendable and they can use him to bring back a draft pick or a player swap.
Inside Linebacker (3)
- Josey Jewell, Joe Schobert, and Jonas Griffith
A bit of change here. Josey Jewell is your starter still but an unfortunate injury to Jonas Griffith has him in doubt for week one so they signed veteran Joe Schobert to solidify the position. I think this knocks Alex Singleton off the roster.
- Patrick Surtain II, Ronald Darby, K’Waun Williams, Michael Ojemudia, and Damarri Mathis
This unit remains unchanged from my original thinking and I do not really see any major changes here. Ojemudia and the rookie Mathis will provide depth and likely play significant snaps this upcoming season
- Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, Caden Sterns, P.J. Locke, and Delarrin Turner-Yell
I don’t see a ton changing here either. Simmons, Jackson, and Sterns will play significant snaps this upcoming season. Locke and Turner-Yell are your reserves who will contribute on special teams this upcoming season.
Special Teams (3)
- Brandon McManus, Sam Martin, Jacob Bobenmoyer
The usual remain here. Corliss Waitman doesn’t win the punting battle and despite the Broncos working out many long snapper, Jacob Bobenmoyer sticks around, for now at least.