Denver Broncos Center Matt Paradis was once a sixth round draft pick who was placed on the practice squad. Now he is a key part to the future success of the Broncos offensive line.
In the 2014 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos know they needed to shore up the offensive line due to the beatdown the line got during Super Bowl 48 against the Seattle Seahawks.
In the sixth round of that draft, the Broncos drafted a center out of Boise State named Matt Paradis. We all know the Broncos have had success drafting offensive linemen late in the draft, but from what we saw at first, it felt like John Elway had made a terrible mistake.
His performance during the 2014 preseason landed Matt Paradis onto the practice squad. However, after the parting of ways with John Fox, Gary Kubiak decided to take a look at Paradis.
It was one of the many best decisions in the early Kubiak era. In fact, it appears he was so confident in Paradis that in the 2015 NFL Draft, he orchestrated a trade with the Detroit Lions that sent veteran center Manny Ramirez to the Detroit Lions in order to move up in the draft to select Shane Ray.
The other center Will Montgomery signed with the Washington Redskins via free agency. So, it was Matt Paradis’ job to lose. But he did well, earning the starting job and playing all 16 games in the regular season and all three postseason games that ended with him winning a Super Bowl.
So, what kind of expectations does Matt Paradis have for the 2016 season? Let’s take a quick look at the offensive line. It will be virtually new. My projection is that Paradis will be the veteran of the group.
Even though Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson will be joining the team, they are new to the system. Max Garcia is entering his second year. And it remains to be seen who will take Louis Vasquez’s spot at right guard.
But it appears as if Matt Paradis has gone from virtual unknown practice squad player to a veteran member of the offensive line in just a matter of two years. It shows to me how much hard work he has put in to his time with the Denver Broncos.
And it appears as if Matt Paradis is ready to see what this line can do in 2016.
“I’m very excited about this group we’ve got. A lot of smart guys, athletic guys. And these guys are going to work hard. It is hard to tell to give an exact number on how much better we will be, but I think we will be better.”
We believe you Matt Paradis. And with you anchoring the offensive line in the middle, we know you will bring that experience in winning a Super Bowl and starting every game in 2015 with you to the new guys that come along.
Congrats on all of your hard work. Hope to see you prosper in 2016 and beyond as the Denver Broncos starting center.