Ty Sambrailo needs to become a factor for Broncos this offseason
The Denver Broncos have some holes to plug on their offensive line, and they need former 2nd round pick Ty Sambrailo to make himself an asset…
Ty Sambrailo had a tough introduction to the National Football League, filling in as the Denver Broncos’ starting left tackle as a rookie when Ryan Clady went down with a season-ending injury. It was not a position Sambrailo was unfamiliar with, but he didn’t get very far in the NFL before he suffered a season-ending injury of his own.
Sambrailo was a very good player at Colorado State after being very lightly recruited coming out of high school. Leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft, he had generated plenty of hype as a potential starting right tackle or offensive guard in the NFL, and some even felt like he could hold up as a left tackle.
Once Sambrailo suffered an injury to his shoulder in early November, 2015, he was never really the same even as he was (a struggling rookie) before. Coming out in 2016, Sambrailo was penciled in as a starting guard on an offensive line in transition. Sambrailo then injured his elbow in the offseason, and was unable to be ready for game action until he started weeks 3-5, starting with a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
It was clear early on that Sambrailo was not in great game shape, and in a week five matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, he was absolutely destroyed by Vic Beasley coming off the edge. So badly at times, that I even wondered if Beasley might let up out of pity.
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The Broncos were forced to pull Sambrailo in favor of Donald Stephenson, but they didn’t stop putting Sambrailo in games after that. The former second round pick appeared in seven more games after the debacle against the Falcons, and was usually the worst player on the field when he did get a chance to play.
I’m not trying to be overly harsh on Sambrailo, but his lack of development has put the Broncos in a tough position now of having to go out and spend money on a tackle, guard, or both because they can’t rely on him.
It’s not uncommon for draft picks to not work out in the NFL all the time, but the Broncos and John Elway have been particularly inaccurate with second round picks since 2012. After picking Rahim Moore, Orlando Franklin, Derek Wolfe, and Brock Osweiler in his first two drafts, John Elway followed up with Montee Ball, Cody Latimer, Sambrailo, and Adam Gotsis in the second round of the following drafts.
At least most of those guys are still with the team…
Sambrailo was clearly not in NFL shape this past season. Even at training camp you could tell that he had come in out of shape and overweight, just by looking at photos. As the season progressed, nothing really appeared to change, and predictably, Sambrailo’s play on the field was disastrous.
This offseason, Sambrailo needs to attach himself to the hip of Broncos strength and conditioning coach Luke Richesson. This is a make-or-break season for Sambrailo, who has made Broncos fans think fondly of their time with Michael Schofield as the right tackle.
For what it’s worth, Schofield was not bad as a right guard this past season…
With the Broncos unquestionably making moves along the offensive line this offseason, it’s critical that Sambrailo make himself necessary to the equation. What he will have to do to prove to this new coaching staff that he’s worthy of a roster spot, I’m not sure. However, getting himself into NFL shape and fully healing from his number of injuries would be a great start.