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Broncos Final 53

Speardog_Atlas

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Even though the Broncos are only a week into training camp, there is potential movement for the 53-man roster.

One week down and a month to go and the Denver Broncos training camp is set to have two more practices before heading to Minnesota to hold joint sessions with the Vikings. Denver's first preseason game is fast approaching and with that comes an even better chance to evaluate the players.

In this first week, there have been many players that have stood out. Fortunately, there's still a lot time left for a lot of players to rebound and make a push for the roster. As things stand now, however, the roster is taking shape.

Here's a stab at the Broncos' 53-man roster with the data of one week of camp to factor it.

Writers note: This was done in collaboration with Mile High Huddle's Lance Sanderson and James Campbell to narrow it down. This is based mostly on how the players have looked so far in camp.

Quarterbacks: 2​

Players: Drew Lock, Teddy Bridgewater

So far in practice, the quarterback competition is extremely close. It seems that Lock has a slight lead, which is why he is the projected starter currently. The preseason games are going to be very telling and influential with who wins the starting job.

While it seems the Broncos will keep three quarterbacks, other positions just seem to offer more value at this point of training camp. Lock and Bridgewater are the clear top-two guys and both have had their strong moments, which is why only two QBs make the cut.

Running Backs: 3​

Players: Melvin Gordon, Javonte Williams, Mike Boone

Camp is still young, but the pecking order at running back has been made completely clear. There is the top-three and then everyone else lagging behind. There could be a choice to keep more running backs, but seems more likely they come via the practice squad.

Gordon looks even better than he did last year and seems like a man on a mission as he holds onto the top spot. The rookie Williams is clearly the No. 2 guy and has really impressed in camp early, while Boone is cracking the starting lineup on special teams as the returner.

Between the three, Denver has a wide range of skill-sets and can really rotate them to catch defenses off guard. It will be interesting to see how the usage allotment falls for Gordon and Williams early in the season, compared to the second half of the season.

Wide Receivers: 6​

Players: Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Tim Patrick, Trinity Benson, Kendall Hinton

The first four are pretty much put in sharpie to make the roster. Sutton is returning from a missed year, but he is expected to bounce back. Jeudy and Hamler are a year removed from being the team's first and second-round picks, while Patrick has been a consistent performer for the Broncos.

After that, things get choppy, especially with how the first week of practice unfolded. Tyrie Cleveland was often written in to make the 53, but after at least one drop per day for the first five practices, he got hurt and is now missing time. That opened up a spot.

Both Benson and Hinton have really been impressive early in camp, and both can be traced back to having pretty good OTA and minicamp performances. They're making a strong case for the roster, but it is doubtful Denver keeps more than six receivers.

Opening up the sixth spot was replacing Diontae Spencer with Hinton and Benson. While Spencer is a solid returner, he doesn’t offer up much of anything on offense. With Boone poised to take over the returner job, there just wasn’t a spot for Spencer.

That allowed both Benson and Hinton to make the roster, however, they both need to keep performing. With there being three preseason games and a few weeks left before the big cut-down day, they both can still lose their spot.

Tight End: 3​

Players: Noah Fant, Albert Okwuegbunam, Eric Saubert

Denver has a lot of bodies at tight end but outside of these three, none of them have consistently been impressing in camp. Both Fant and Okwuegbunam have plenty of potential, but Saubert is the veteran of the group.

With these three, Denver would have a lot of big-play potential because of the skill-sets Fant and Okwuegbunam bring to the table. Saubert is a reliable blocker, but really has stepped up his game as a receiver and it has shown so far in camp.

Offensive Line: 10​

Players: Garett Bolles, Dalton Risner, Lloyd Cushenberry III, Graham Glasgow, Bobby Massie, Calvin Anderson, Austin Schlottmann, Quinn Meinerz, Netane Muti, Cameron Fleming

Projecting the Broncos' offensive line is pretty easy, except for the starting and backup right tackle. The Broncos have their main starting four, four key reserves, and the last two are fighting for a job.

Right now, Denver's first-string offensive line is Bolles, Risner, Cushenberry, and Glasgow with either Anderson or Massie at right tackle. Whoever loses that RT job will be the backup swing tackle.

As for the reserves, there are four, including Schlottmann, Muti, Meinerz, and Fleming, all of whom seem to have a lead over the other offensive linemen on the roster. So outside of who the starting right tackle is, this position is rather easy to project.

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Defensive Line: 6​

Players: Shelby Harris, Mike Purcell, Dre’Mont Jones, McTelvin Agim, DeShawn Williams, Marquiss Spencer

Much like the offensive line, the defensive line is easy to project with only one spot really up for grabs. That spot depends on whether the Broncos decide to keep a sixth defensive lineman, or use it for somewhere else.

That final spot is between Spencer and free-agent acquisition Shemar Stephen. Spencer is younger and has really been impressing the coaches so far in camp. Meanwhile, Stephen is just another guy so the upside for Spencer lands him the edge at this time.

Edge Defenders: 5​

Players: Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Malik Reed, Jonathon Cooper, Andre Mintze

This was one position that was heavily debated and it was keeping that fifth edge rusher. The top-three — Chubb, Miller, and Reed — are written in stone to make the roster and Cooper has made a strong push for it.

The debate came down to keeping four or five edge rushers. What got Mintze over the hump was how well he's been practicing. Actually making it or not will really come down to how he does in the preseason games and whether he can carry his showings from practice to games.

Inside Linebackers: 5​

Players: Alexander Johnson, Josey Jewell, Justin Strnad, Baron Browning, Josh Watson

There is no debate among the top-dfour off-ball linebackers. Johnson and Jewell will be the starters and Strnad has really come along in camp to make the roster as well. Browning makes it because of his third-round draft pedigree as he's been M.I.A. dealing with an injury. The rookie has yet to practice.

It's likely Denver keeps at least five linebackers, so that fifth spot is tough because of special teams. A linebacker is one of the Broncos' core special teams players and Watson is set to take that role with Joe Jones departing earlier this year. Peter Kalambayi could push for it, but the edge went to Watson because of his experience in the defensive scheme.

Cornerbacks: 6​

Players: Kyle Fuller, Ronald Darby, Bryce Callahan, Patrick Surtain II, Michael Ojemudia, Kary Vincent, Jr.

The only question here was about the sixth corner spot, and it is likely the Broncos keep six corners. The first five are all basically locked to make the roster and with them, the Broncos have a lot of versatility in what they can do with their coverage looks.

That sixth spot, however, was tough because Vincent has barely practiced due to being on the COVID list and then got hurt. The debate was keeping Rojesterman Farris over Vincent because Farris caught attention right away after joining the team by picking off multiple passes. For now, it was decided on Vincent simply because of how new Farris is to the roster.

Safeties: 4​

Players: Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, Caden Sterns, Jamar Johnson

There was some debate here about keeping four or five safeties. This is where Mintze making the roster subtracted from P.J. Locke being able to. Locke was that 54th player. This came down to roster math.

Obviously, Jackson and Simmons are going to make the roster as they are one of the best duos in the NFL. Sterns has been super impressive as a rookie in camp already, which lands him here. That leaves Johnson who triggered some debate here.

Johnson has yet to practice, but he was catching attention in OTAs and mini-camp and making it just off that for now. If he doesn’t return to practice before the first preseason game, his spot could be in jeopardy. Just because he was a Day 3 draft pick isn’t enough to guarantee him a spot.

Special Teams: 3​

Players: Brandon McManus (K), Sam Martin (P), Jacob Bobenmoyer (LS)

Denver has three special teams players on the roster and really doesn’t have a competition going at any of them. Without any competition, these three win by default

SoCal's Link: Broncos 53-Man Roster Projection a Week into Training Camp.
 

Speardog_Atlas

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Here is Practice Squad List



Practice Squad​

Brett Rypien | QB: While he doesn’t make the roster, he does make the practice squad. Rypien isn’t really needed on the roster and Denver can protect him on the practice squad. This gives them some versatility with the roster math.

LeVante Bellamy | RB: There will be one running back kept on the practice squad, at least, and Bellamy makes the most sense. He has made some plays in camp and while Royce Freeman has as well, Freeman probably gets a shot elsewhere.

Tyrie Cleveland | WR: If Cleveland can come back from his injury, cure his case of the drops, he can make a strong push for the roster. He offers up special teams play as well as a role on offense, but he has a lot of ground he has to make up.

Seth Williams | WR: While he has made a couple of plays in camp, the rookie sixth-rounder needs a lot of development. Right now, he is a niche offensive player with a lot of needed development. A year on the practice squad to put him in a position to compete next year to replace whoever leaves between Sutton and Patrick seems to be the path.

Andrew Beck | TE/FB: Denver went shorthanded at tight end with only three, but Beck makes it to the practice squad. He can double as a fullback and help on special teams if needed with an easy call-up.

Quinn Bailey | OL: While he has had a lot of chances as a tackle, Bailey can also play inside. That versatility can be big, especially later in the season if injuries start to pile up.

Drew Himmelmann | OT: The undrafted rookie is a pure tackle, while Bailey is more versatile, which is why they both made it. This gives another tackle for O-line coach Mike Munchak to develop, and there is a lot about Himmelmann to like, especially with his size.

Brett Jones | IOL: It is typical for teams to keep interior offensive linemen and it came down to Jones and Nolan Laufenberg. Jones has the experience and he'd be kept mainly as a center behind two young guys for a little extra insurance.

Deyon Sizer | DL: The Broncos coaching staff seems to really like Sizer, but there are multiple defensive linemen to chose from. Sizer being the coaches' guy is why he made it at this point.

Derrek Tuszka | OLB: The old toy lost out to the shiny new one when it came to making the roster. Tuszka has potential, but he still needs work. With Denver potentially losing Reed and Miller next offseason, Tuszka is worth keeping to try and develop.

Curtis Robinson | LB: With potential on special teams and really growing pretty quickly on defense, there is a lot there to keep Robinson on the practice squad. He also had the most impressive interception of camp so far with a leaping one-handed grab.

Mac McCain III | CB: While he has been dealing with an injury, he's been praised for how quickly he picked things up and his upside. If the coaches really believe in that upside, it is easy to see him make it on the practice squad.

Rojesterman Farris | CB: This might be bold as he has just joined the team, but Farris made a huge impact right away and quickly ascended on defense. There was a debate about Farris or Vincent, and Vincent only won because Farris is so new to the team.

Trey Marshall | S: Marshall seems to be falling behind at safety, but he still knows the scheme and a decent special teams ability. While he fell as the sixth safety, there is enough third-phase ability to keep him just in case of an injury.

P.J. Locke | S: Locke really showed to be a reliable special teams player last year and has supposedly made steps to make a push for the roster. He almost made it this time, but it came down to a numbers game. This was the last cut made and why he lands on the practice squad.

Dionte Spencer | WR/PR: Right now, he just hasn’t shown the improvements to be more than a returner and Boone can replace that. However, there isn’t another reliable returner option with Hamler struggling to cleanly field punts. That is enough to keep Spencer around on the practice squad.

SoCal's Link: Broncos 53-Man Roster Projection a Week into Training Camp
 

Mingo

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I think that was a pretty good round up on final roster thoughts. Right now - I'm thinking Browning and possibly J. Johnson will be on an injured list to start the season.

In addition - I expect the Broncos will have an H-back specialist - playing TE and FB roles.
 

SpringStein

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Even though Tryie Cleveland has had a rough camp - IMO he did enough last year to show he is worth a roster spot and what he adds on special teams can’t be underestimated.
 

Mingo

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Even though Tryie Cleveland has had a rough camp - IMO he did enough last year to show he is worth a roster spot and what he adds on special teams can’t be underestimated.
Plus he may not make it through waivers to the practice squad.
 

2Kback

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I think this pretty much nails it, good job.
 

listopencil

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Only thing I would wonder about is keeping that 10th O-Lineman versus keeping Beck as a an H-Back. I think Beck would be a better investment on the 53. Still, the list looks pretty good to me.
 

Speardog_Atlas

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Even though Tryie Cleveland has had a rough camp - IMO he did enough last year to show he is worth a roster spot and what he adds on special teams can’t be underestimated.
Maybe but Trinity outplayed him and looked very good. It will be interesting to see how that shakes out
 

Mingo

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I'd have to side with @Speardog_Atlas over @SpringStein Tyrie Cleveland appears to be toast. He is having such a bad camp. Choking some would call it.
 

fightinredantz

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For Cleveland it may come down to him and Spencer. I think at this point we have 5 WRs that are locked into the 53 man roster.
Court land Sutton
Jerry Jeudy
KJ Hamler
Tim Patrick
Trinity Benson
 

Speardog_Atlas

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I love Spencer who cares he only plays Special teams. He is good and can turn the game around with one kick return. Cut Cleveland and resign him if he clears waivers.
 

fightinredantz

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I get it, but not sure that is going to play out. Cleveland’s kick return on Saturday was horrible.

I agree that at this point Cleveland is likely not making the final 53. He will have to have a monster last 2 weeks to change that.
 

Mingo

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IMO - Trinity Benson - is playing for Spencer's job - he is showing he can contribute on offense more than Spencer and his return game is plenty good enough to replace Spencer
 

CEH

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I like Spencer because he's reliable catching the punts and has shown he can take it to the house. No guarantee who ever replaces him can do either in live games.
 

fightinredantz

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We have tough cuts coming, are we going to value players that can contribute on offense/defense over guys that only can contribute on special teams. I am leaning toward the multiple roles being valued.
 

Draft Crazy

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IMO - Trinity Benson - is playing for Spencer's job - he is showing he can contribute on offense more than Spencer and his return game is plenty good enough to replace Spencer

Agree
 

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I like Spencer because he's reliable catching the punts and has shown he can take it to the house. No guarantee who ever replaces him can do either in live games.

Agree with this also... When Spencer is back there you don't exactly feel your heart thumping like you did Trindon Holliday among many other returners we have had. Wish we could keep Cleveland, Spencer and Benson. Spencer is the best return, Cleveland the most versatile as he bigger then the others and can cover kicks and punts and Benson appears right now to be the best WR of the 3. I hate to see Cleveland go because I have been high on him since his recruiting days at Florida and feel he fills more then one role on a team. I hate to see Spencer go because of the reason CEH gives above and I hate to see Benson go because in all honesty he has really earned his time here. This is his 3rd camp and he has been pretty good every camp. Is Benson another Todd Devoe/Matthew Willis/Kevin Kasper or can he continue to shine when called upon on game days. I think the important thing to note is we are talking about our 5th and 6th WR's here and when it comes down to those spots it comes down to special teams play.. Who fills the role the best? Spencer obviously is valuable as a return man and is the better return man then Cleveland... Can Benson help us more on special teams then Cleveland? I don't think so... But.... do we like Benson enough to let him develop? Remember, we are pretty well set at WR for the next few years now so I think it really comes down to who can help us fill special teams roles. I think Cleveland returning to our PS is about 50/50 right now because of his special teams play with his size/speed combination he is intriguing for a team looking for a 5th/6th WR who can develop but at the same time make an immediate impact on special teams.

All in all. I trust the staff's decision on this one. But as the biggest Tyrie Cleveland supporter you will find, I will admit.. I am nervous for him this year.


Look on the bright side. These decisions are much better then decisions of having to cut guys like Carlos Henderson and Isaiah McKenzie (really should have kept him and stayed patient he has been a better WR then Spencer and about the same type of return man) we have come a long ways considering now we have a problem of "which WR" to cut and not "which WR to claim off waivers"
 

listopencil

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This ended up being not all that far off. Had some trade/injury changes pop up. I was surprised that we kept only 5 WR and only 8 OL.
 
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