Assessing the Denver Broncos offensive line pre-draft
Taking an in-depth look at the Denver Broncos’ offensive line, the scheme they will run, and what players they currently have at their disposal…
The offensive line for the Denver Broncos was a mess in 2016. There’s really no way around it.
After signing Russell Okung to a ‘prove it’ contract (that actually backfired on the Broncos in the compensatory draft pick process) and Donald Stephenson to a modest deal, Denver’s line seemed to be taking some kind of shape.
Entering the offseason program, it looked like the Broncos’ starting group would be Okung at left tackle, Max Garcia at left guard, Matt Paradis at center, Ty Sambrailo at right guard, and Stephenson at the right tackle spot.
Denver didn’t make a move on a lineman until the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, taking Missouri’s Connor McGovern.
Entering the 2017 offseason, even more questions popped up for the Broncos. Matt Paradis had to have surgery on both hips this offseason, and the Broncos declined their four-year team option on left tackle Russell Okung, leaving a gaping hole at arguably the most important position that has yet to really be addressed by the team.
The Broncos hired Jeff Davidson to coach the offensive line, a move that could make the unit better by default. The Broncos ran a primarily zone blocking scheme with Gary Kubiak calling the shots, and it just didn’t work out. The Broncos’ run game was worse with Kubiak, Rick Dennison, and Clancy Barone from 2015-16 than it was in years prior when Adam Gase and Mike McCoy brought more of a power-based offensive look.
Vance Joseph hired McCoy to coach the offense, and McCoy made it a priority to bring in Davidson, who has been an offensive line coach/offensive coordinator for some pretty notable offensive groups in his tenure.
So where do the Broncos currently stand? The offensive line is still a bit of a work in progress, but where do they go from here? Let’s take a look at what they have, and how they can move forward.