Broncos Position Battles to Watch as Preseason Approaches

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Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos (Photo by Joe Amon/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Mike Munchak has a lot of talent to mold.

Tight Ends (6)

Projected Starters: Noah Fant, Jeff Heuerman

Backups: Troy Fumagalli, Austin Fort

Bench: Jake Butt, Bug Howard

The tight end position has been ravaged by season-ending injuries during many of the recent seasons, which has caused quite the instability of front runners and production.

Noah Fant will be the third try in five years by the Broncos to draft a tight end worthy of becoming a franchise player.

Jeff Heuerman has shown good production last year with 281 yards and two touchdowns, despite the season-ending injuries his career started with.

The remaining tight ends all have to prove who is the third and fourth best, which will be a tall order for two rookies (Fort and Howard) and two disappointing prospects (Fumagalli and Butt).

Centers (2*)

Projected Starter: Connor McGovern

Backups: Sam Jones, Austin Schlottmann

Bench: Jake Brendel, Ryan Crozier

The Broncos offensive line personnel consist of five tackles, four guards, two centers, and six offensive linemen who can play multiple spots.

While the Denver Broncos only have two true centers, Ryan Crozier and Nico Falah, they will be staying constant with Connor McGovern until he gets hurt or is outplayed.

Jones and Schlottmann both possess the size and intensity to play center, but the gap in technique is what separates McGovern from them.

Brendel makes good first contact with defenders, but lets finesse rushers get past him too often which is why he and rookie Ryan Crozier will likely ride the bench to start.

Nico Falah is on Injured Reserve due to an injury during OTA’s and will be out an undisclosed amount of time.

Guards (4)

Projected Starters: Ronald Leary (Left), Dalton Risner (Right)

Backups: Elijah Wilkinson, Chaz Green

Bench: John Leglue, Don Barclay

Ronald Leary has added a lot to the Broncos offensive line in size and productivity since leaving Dallas for Denver.

Dalton Risner is the “Hometown Hero” that the town of Wiggins and the rest of Colorado hope to see dominate at the NFL level after an impressive career at Kansas State.

Wilkinson and Green are huge at 6-4 329 lbs and 6-5 318 lbs with the ability to fill in the starting roles for limited time periods.

Don Barclay is on his third team since 2012 and Denver will likely be his last stop, while rookie John Leglue has a massive frame of 6-7 310 lbs he hopes will translate well to the NFL.

Tackles (5)

Projected Starters: Garrett Bolles (Left), JuWaun James (Right)

Backups: Jake Rodgers, Quinn Bailey

Bench: Nathan Jacobson

Garrett Bolles had a lot of penalty trouble in 2018 but overall contributes a lot to the team overall.

JuWaun James is one of the Denver Broncos free agency additions that look to start right away in a powerful right tackle role.

Jake Rodgers is older for a one-year pro at 27, but his time at Eastern Washington in the FCS showed he is strong enough to compete with the younger pros as well.

Rookies Quinn Bailey from Arizona State and Nathan Jacobson form UNLV have opposite to-do lists before the season starts as Bailey needs to slim down from 323 slightly and Jacobson needs to bulk up from 280 to be able to compete well in the league.

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