With Training camp done and over with, some of the players on the Denver Broncos roster rose up the depth chart. Some of those players are now fighting for a roster spot, or at the very least have a practice squad spot all but locked up. Of course, to make if onto the practice squad they have to clear waivers first, and some of the risers may not.
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On the other end of the spectrum, some of the players on the roster started off in a good position, only to fall down the pecking order. These players are now just fighting for the practice squad, or to get picked up by another team to keep their NFL dreams alive. Sad truth is, a lot of these players will see the end to their NFL career.
There are still three preseason games left, so who knows what will happen with them.
(Certain players were avoided, because, as Sayre pointed out, they broke out.)
After having a somewhat slow start, Norwood rose up the chart with steady consistent performances in camp. His showing against the Seattle Seahawks on August 7th helped as well. I would not be surprised if he is on the Broncos 53-man roster come the end of this month. He is a threat as a receiver and as a returner. If he does make it onto the 53-man roster it will come from his skill as a returner. The wide receiver position is so deep and talented, his impact there will be minimal, unless an injury occurs.
Despite missing some time with an injury, Boyett has really climbed up the chart. In a surprising fashion, the battle for the #4 safety spot has been one to watch. It was widely expected Duke Ihenacho would have the spot cemented due to his starting experience from last year. But, Boyett did not stand pat. He has fought every step on the way. He best showing, happened to come in the final days, where he intercepted not one, but two passes from Zac Dysert. One of which came from a tripped up receiver, the other really showed his skill, as he read Dysert’s eyes and made a break on the ball.
All offseason long, Marshall has climbed up the chart. He worked his way to seeing reps as the second LB, next to Danny Trevathan, in first team sub packages. With Danny Trevathan out 6-8 weeks, Marshall is thrust into the starting position. He has had an amazing climb and will look to continue it. Not only does he take over the starting WLB position, he is also the shot caller on the defense, completely taking over for what Trevathan was on the defense.
When looking at the surface, it is hard to say Bibbs has risen. All camp he has been pretty much set as the #5 RB, with others around him moving. However, being a RB in this Broncos offense, is hard. It is hard to climb up the chart. Yet, Bibbs did. He had a slow start to camp, but rapidly turned it around, showing flashes of potential every day. Sometimes he was showing them multiple times per practice. With the RB’s ahead of him, it will be hard for him to steal a spot on the 53-man roster, but a practice squad spot is extremely likely.
Like Boyett, Young missed some time with an injury. However, he started off camp strong by being part of three turnovers in two days. As the days continues he showed how impactful he can be and his nose for the ball. Then he got hurt and missed some time. Since coming back, he has returned to showing what he can do. He has not been as great as he was at the start of camp, but has still been doing really well. He missed last game with his injury, so it will be interesting to see where he is in the pecking order come the next game.
When camp started, Clay was the #4 RB. Now he is the #6 RB. His fall came lightning fast. It was a matter of seven days for him to fall from #4 to #6. A big issue in his game was pass protection, which is huge in this offense. The RBs must be able to provide solid pass protection. Clay is a fast and agile complimentary back. Blocking has never been a strong suit of his and he was not asked to do it much. He may still have a shot at the practice squad, but likely will be looking for a new team.
No one has seen a decline, recently, like Tony Carter. He started off as the #5 CB, now he may be #7 or worse. Every day at camp he was consistently getting beat, not just by the top end WRs on the chart, but the guys lower on the chain also. Once called the “sticky-man” by the coaching staff, he now seems to be “anyone can get open against me-man.” He is ineligible for the practice squad, so he will be looking for a new team later this month.
With his starting experience, everyone, myself included, handed Duke the #4 safety spot. However, he has shown no growth from last year. He is a downhill, hard-hitting safety who struggles in coverage. Right now, the spot is still his with his starting experience, but John Boyett is right there on his heels. The battle is neck and neck with the experience being the deciding factor. With three games left, Duke will need to step it up, because there is no doubt Boyett will keep fighting.
Calling Unrein a faller, is a tad unfair. He has not exactly fallen, but more so failed to step up. His roster spot is likely gone in favor of Marvin Austin. In order for Unrein to keep his spot, he really needed to take a step forward, but he failed to do so. He started camp out as the #4 DT, but has fallen to #5. Even DE’s Malik Jackson and Derek Wolfe have hurt Unrein due to their versatility to play on the interior.
How far can one fall when being the #7 RB the whole time during training camp? Well we can ask Jerodis Williams. He started off getting a solid amount of reps at the start of camp, but he never made the most of them like other RB’s did. His reps decreased as time went on. He wasn’t able to pick up the blitz, which is a big deal in this offense. When it was game time, Williams was the only healthy RB to not see any offensive snaps. When that is the case, you have to make to most of the practice reps, which was not the case. Williams will be looking for a new team, but his career has a good chance of being over.