Broncos Position Battles to Watch as Preseason Approaches
The Denver Broncos look to improve on their 6-10 record of last year with help from new faces in the locker room.
Expectations are high with Pat Bowlen’s upcoming Hall of Fame enshrinement so this season cannot be a failure.
Another losing season for the Broncos would indefinitely guarantee structural changes in the organization after a three-season skid.
With a strategic free agency and an opportunistic draft, the new additions should be able to fill the vacancies and give energy to both sides of the ball.
This article seeks to rank players in a depth chart style article with in-depth knowledge as to why each player is likely to move up or down,
Projected Starter: Joe Flacco
Backups: Drew Lock, Kevin Hogan
Bench: Brett Rypien
With the investment of Joe Flacco, it would be absurd to not use him as a starter.
If Flacco is the starter, then it would give Drew Lock time to develop into the star John Elway pegged him to be.
Kevin Hogan is a decent backup, but on this team, his place is not secured due to drafting Brett Rypien.
Brett Rypien showed the accuracy needed for the pro-level, although some experts worry his arm strength is not sufficient to be a long term starter and why he may be on the bench.
As for playing time in preseason Kevin Hogan will get the nod over Brett Rypien to start, but Hogan will be disadvantaged when it comes to roster cuts since Rypien was an undrafted free agent.
Running Backs (5)
Projected Starter: Phillip Lindsay
Backups: Royce Freeman, Devontae Booker
Bench: Devontae Jackson, Khalfani Muhammad
Phillip Lindsay cemented his place on the team and in the league last year as a breakout star.
Royce Freeman showed promise as he has 521 yards and five touchdowns on 130 carries.
Devontae Booker seemed like a promising back when he was first drafted, but has declined over the past two seasons and may not fit the scheme.
Both Devontae Jackson and Khalfani Muhammad have something to prove as Jackson is a promising Division Two prospect and Muhammad is on his third team with no stats to show for it.
Full Backs (2)
Projected Starter: Andy Janovich
Bench: George Aston
Andy “Manovich” Janovich is the bruiser and lead blocker for the Broncos and will be until proven different.
George Aston is a little more versatile and caught passes well at Pittsburgh, which could be a key selling point for him to make the team.
Depending on where the last cuts come at the end of the preseason, their effort may dictate whether or not the Broncos keep two full backs.
Projected Starters: Emmanuel Sanders, Cortland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton, Tim Patrick
Backups: Juwann Winfree, River Cracraft, Aaron Burbridge, Kelvin McKnight
Bench: Brendan Langley, Fred Brown, Romell Guerrier, Trinity Benson
Emmanuel Sanders will have to be a true leader for the offense and the wide receiver position as he is the only one at the position with more than three years of experience.
Cortland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton, and Tim Patrick have shown they are valuable receivers with a few hundred yards and a touchdown or two each, but the young guns coming in will be aiming for a chance to do the same.
Local star Juwann Winfree and Samford hero Kelvin McKnight possess the raw physical talent and awareness to breakout if they are given the chance.
Aaron Burbridge and River Cracraft are special teams caliber quality players for now, but young experience could sway them towards success or the door.
Brendan Langley switching to the receiver position may be his last chance with the team since cornerback did not work out for him.
Fred Brown, Romell Guerrier, and Trinity Benson are young and unproven until they show results on special teams in blocking and returning.