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State of the Broncos roster: Offensive tackles are good and can be great

The situation Denver has with the offensive tackles is as good as it’s been in a while.

Denver Broncos v Buffalo Bills Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos have not had a good offensive line in many years. It’s been a major point of emphasis to address for what feels like every season since 2015. Denver then went out and brought in a free agent on a big contract, but he wasn’t even the best part of the offensive tackle corps that they have.

The offensive tackle group that the Broncos have might have some of the best depth in the league, and we’re still waiting on two of them to play a regular season snap.

Garett Bolles

Contract status: Signed through 2024

Age: 31

2023 review: The offensive line produced many surprising performances this season, and Garett Bolles was one of those. There were many question marks surrounding Bolles heading into the season following what went down in 2022. There was a coaching change where Bolles lost Mike Munchak, who was the greatest thing to have happened to him at the time, and subsequently visibly regressed during the five games he played before breaking his leg.

What we got out of Bolles this year was the most consistent game-to-game play I think we’ve ever seen out of him, and according to PFF, Bolles was one of the top pass-blocking tackles throughout the season. He didn’t give up many sacks, hardly gave up a pressure, and his eight penalties were a reduction from the norm. For the first time ever, I am excited to have Garett Bolles back next season.

Mike McGlinchey

Contract status: Signed through 2027

Age: 29

2023 review: The Broncos went out this offseason and dropped some cash in free agency on their offensive line, and McGlinchey was one of the two that they brought in. His price tag brought with it some lofty expectations, and I think we can all agree that McGlinchey did not play up to his contract. And while he did get noticeably better as the season progressed, there is still a lot to be desired. And I don’t like saying that, especially because I think I was one of the biggest McGlinchey apologists out there this year.

In his defense, he missed a lot of camp and every preseason game with an injury. It takes a while for an offensive line to develop, especially when there is a player who is brand new to the team. It was a costly injury that hampered his development. I think he’ll be better moving forward though.

Cam Fleming

Contract status: Free agent

Age: 30

2023 review: Cam Fleming didn’t play much this season, seeing action in six games and starting just the last game of the year, but he played well for the team. He came up big for Denver against the Chargers after Mike McGlinchey left the game in the first half with a rib injury. After entering the game, Fleming proceeded to shut down the LA pass rush and would only give up one pressure to Khalil Mack.

He is a fantastic asset to have, but the problem is that he might be on his way out. I can easily see a team signing him to be a starting tackle.

Quinn Bailey

Contract status: Restricted free agent

Age: 28

2023 review: While he is technically listed as a guard, I’ll include him in this roster review as he mostly served as the extra tackle for the Broncos in their heavy sets this season.

Bailey did a good job in the role Denver needed him for and was consistently a good blocker when called upon. I did enjoy seeing him in limited use because while he is not good enough to be a starter, he deserves to be the next blocker up and is a big body to have during short-yardage and goal-line situations.

Alex Palczewski

Contract status: Signed through 2025

Age: 24

2023 review: Palczewski spent most of the regular season on the IR with a knee injury, but was activated near the end of the season.

The only taste we got of what kind of player he could be came during the preseason, but in my opinion, he left a strong impression. The 6’6”, 315-pound tackle from Illinois looked like he adapted quickly to the NFL pace and, if Denver didn’t bring in an expensive free-agent tackle, Palczewski would have been able to compete for a starting spot against Cam Fleming. I am looking forward to watching him play next season.

Demontrey Jacobs

Contract status: Signed through 2024

Age: 25

He’ll be a good backup to have on hand for 2024.