For the first time in a decade, I think the Denver Broncos might actually have a decent offensive line to start the season with. Head Coach Sean Payton made the offensive line his biggest priority right out of the gate in free agency when he signed both guard Ben Powers and tackle Mike McGlinchey - both of whom are very good in the run game.
I think a shift towards a more run-oriented offense will also highlight strengths from both Quinn Meinerz and Garett Bolles as well, so overall, I see a much-improved offensive line in Denver and a recent offensive line ranking from Pro Football Focus seems to back this sentiment up:
11. DENVER BRONCOS (UP 10)
Projected Starting Lineup: LT Garett Bolles, LG Ben Powers, C Lloyd Cushenberry III, RG Quinn Meinerz, RT Mike McGlinchey
The hiring of Sean Payton this offseason came with a clear focus on improving an offensive line that was never quite as bad as it looked in 2022.
Denver’s line ranked 20th on the season in PFF pass-blocking efficiency, but Russell Wilson was the second-worst quarterback in the league at converting pressure into sacks, warping the view of the line’s performance.
Best Player: Garett Bolles
Garett Bolles played in just five games last season, but he has earned a PFF pass-blocking grade above 70.0 in every year of his career and been an excellent run-blocker.
While PFF focused on the units pass-blocking efficiency, I believe the biggest different will be seen in the run game. If Russell Wilson can improve his efficiency when pressured, then that will naturally make the units pass-blocking look much improved as well.
The biggest caveat will be health. If guys start to go down with injury, I see a lot of concerns on the depth side of things for Denver. Payton couldn’t address all of the issues there, but by starting out with getting a strong starting five at least give them a shot long-term this season if the injury bug is held at bay.
What do you think of the Broncos’ offensive line unit heading into the season? Let’s discuss in the comments section below.