As we approach the first voluntary minicamp of the Denver Broncos’ 2014 offseason, I want to take a look at some position groups and what we could see as far as competition and what guys have a shot to kind of shock people and make the final 53-man roster.
The Broncos are not going to shy away from potentially holding 11 defensive backs, but the players are going to have to have versatility. It’s how guys like Omar Bolden have made it in the past, and why special teams ace David Bruton was given an extension by the new regime in Denver despite being drafted by Josh McDaniels back in 2009.
By the way, Bruton is the only player that remains on the roster from the Broncos’ 2009 draft class.
But in looking over the roster, the Broncos don’t have a bunch of guys at the cornerback position that you look and think there won’t be an open spot during training camp, possibly two, for someone to sneak in and make the team.
Over the coming weeks and months, the Broncos will likely be scouring the waiver wire and post-June 1 free agents to possibly fill spots at the cornerback position, even after signing Aqib Talib and drafting Bradley Roby with their most prized assets this offseason.
Coming into minicamp, players that played in 2013 on the Broncos’ roster who are fully healthy include Talib, second year pro Kayvon Webster, and last year’s week one starter Tony Carter.
Even if the Broncos feel good about Tony Carter, there will still be a potential sixth spot open at the CB position, since Denver likes to keep their defensive back count pretty high. Omar Bolden was drafted as a corner but converted to safety last season. He’s a possibility to fill a sort of hybrid spot on the depth chart, but other guys on the roster designated at corner are Roby, the first rounder, and then undrafted free agent Louis Young, a guy who was considered a potential major riser in draft circles after his sophomore season before things kind of cooled off on him.
Others who will compete at corner include former South Florida star and third round pick Jerome Murphy, who has up to this point been something of a disappointment in the league. Undrafted rookie Jordan Sullen from Tulane is also an option. He is considered a potential hybrid corner/safety as well.
But these circumstances lead me to believe the Broncos will look to sign some more depth at cornerback after the June 1st deadline, where the players they sign will no longer count against the formula for compensatory picks next year.
That’s important, because the Broncos believe they are in line to receive at least a couple of picks as compensation for losing so many in-house free agents this year like Eric Decker, Knowshon Moreno, Wesley Woodyard, and Robert Ayers.
But, until they actually bring somebody else in, it’s entirely possible that Denver is planning on giving the opportunity to win that last job to an undrafted player, depending how they can show out on special teams. They’ll also likely keep at least one defensive back on the practice squad, so there is ample opportunity for someone to sneak onto this team as an unheralded prospect, or perhaps even someone who is seeking a second shot to prove what they’ve got.