Dec 16 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Denver Broncos tight end Jacob Tamme (84) and tight end Virgil Green (85) walk in the tunnel of M&T Bank Stadium before the game against the Baltimore Ravens Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
On Sunday, August 3rd, the Denver Broncos released their first depth chart for the year. There will likely be two more. One for the last preseason game and the final one for the regular season.
Depth Chart: Offense
[table id=24 /]
No surprises here. Peyton manning is the starter, Brock Osweiler the backup. Even Zac Dysert being the #3 comes as no surprise. Bryn Renner being the rookie undrafted free agent is on the outside looking in.
Montee Ball being the top RB comes as no surprise. It has been known for months. Despite many fans, including myself, calling for his head, Ronnie Hillman sits as the #2 RB. Last year he was the #1 and fumbled it away, so time will tell if he is able to keep his grasp on the spot. C.J. Anderson sits as the #3 RB comes as little surprise. It was widely expected he would be #2 or 3 in the pecking order.
There may be some surprise here with Juwan Thompson being the #4 RB, however, over the last few days he has climbed up. At Duke he spent time playing LB, which may give him an edge on special teams and blocking. Brennan Clay less than a week ago was the #4 RB and has slide to being #6, putting his spot in doubt. Kapri Bibbs is looking like a prime practice squad candidate sitting as the #5 RB. Jerodis Williams may get picked up on the Broncos practice squad, but odds are against him.
No surprises with Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Wes Welker as the starters. Andre Caldwell and Cody Latimer being the primary backups are not surprise, but Jordan Norwood being one is. Norwood has quietly had some great practices, but the surprise more comes in the form that it isn’t fan favorite Isaiah Burse as the backup slot receiver.
Another surprise comes in Bennie Fowler being part of the fourth WR unit. He has had a really good training camp reportedly, so when the game comes Thursday, August 7th, he is one to keep your eye out for. It was believed by some that Fowler was potentially fighting for a roster spot, but unless he is nothing short of excellence, he is just fighting for the practice squad. Along with Fowler, Greg Wilson, Nathan Palmer and Greg Hardin, are all fighting for a potential practice squad position as it looks now.
Julius Thomas being at the top is no shocker after his breakout year last year. Virgil Green has gone from the #4 TE this time last year to being the #2. Jacob Tamme is keeping himself around as the #3 and with his value to the team, will be around for the year. Now for the surprise.
Fan Favorite Gerell Robinson is not the #4 TE, but the #5 behind Jameson Konz. Forgive me for my ignorance, but I do not know much about Konz. When looking over the roster I figured Robinson would be the #4 and if any TE was there instead of Robinson, it would be #6 TE Cameron Morrah. Morrah has been great in the last few days according to reports. When the games come around, I will be keeping an eye on these three. I have thought Denver keeps four TEs, but they may only keep three this year.
- Left Tackle
Ryan Clady is back, though not at 100%. He steps in, unsurprisingly, as the top LT. Winston Justice is the backup left tackle. To a small degree that is a surprise, but at the same time it isn’t. Justice has experience at LT, but the surprise comes from the fact he was battling with Chris Clark for the RT job. More on that later. Paul Cornick was on the practice squad last year and if he is still eligible, which I believe he is, he may be looking at a spot there again.
- Left Guard
After kicking into LG, there is no surprise in Franklin being the starter. Ben Garland is the backup, and from the looks of it, the only backup. This is Garland’s last chance as he is no longer eligible for the practice squad.
Manny Ramirez had a solid year as the starting center last year, despite a bad Super Bowl showing where the OL looked bad as a unit. The Broncos clearly wanted some competition and signed Will Montgomery, who is sitting as the backup. Rookie Matt Paradis is looking like a practice squad candidate. Paradis can play anywhere on the OL, so it will be curious to see if the Broncos move him around.
- Right Guard
Louis Vasquez was a huge signing last year and was nothing short of excellence in his protection of Peyton Manning. From the looks of it the Broncos are trying to find Vinston painter a spot. He has been moved around more this offseason than my laptop. Ryan Miller is a long shot to make the team, odds are he lands on the PS, again.
- Right Tackle
Nothing shocking here. Chris Clark looks to have a leg up, if the battle isn’t won, for the starting RT spot. He and Justice were battling it out there for a while. Rookie Michael Schofield played RT at Michigan State, but it was reported they may kick him inside. That may still be in the plans, but for now he is looking to stay at RT.