Assessing the Denver Broncos offensive line pre-draft

Dec 18, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos offensive guard Max Garcia (76) in the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos offensive guard Max Garcia (76) in the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (58) pass rushes at Denver Broncos offensive tackle Ty Sambrailo (74) in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Ravens 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (58) pass rushes at Denver Broncos offensive tackle Ty Sambrailo (74) in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Ravens 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The last time we saw Ty Sambrailo play even remotely well in the NFL was back in 2015, when he was a rookie filling in at left tackle for Ryan Clady.

When the Broncos drafted Sambrailo in the second round in 2015, I don’t think the expectation was ever really that he was going to replace Clady, who struggled mightily with injuries, but the injuries Clady had previously sustained could have been a huge factor in bringing Sambrailo — a left tackle in college — into the fold.

The Broncos drafted Sambrailo in the second round in the first year Gary Kubiak was hired, so he may be a bit miscast in a power blocking scheme, but who knows? The biggest question I have in regards to Sambrailo is whether or not he will even show up to OTAs in football shape.

It would be interesting to see what kind of approach he’s taken to the offseason, and whether or not he has lost any weight. After an elbow injury in 2015 landed him on IR, a shoulder injury in 2016 derailed his entire season. He came in and played some right tackle, and was like a revolving door.

The quick feet and agility we saw from Sambrailo at Colorado State seemed to disappear over the course of the last two years, but word has it the Broncos have not yet given up on the former second round pick.

Other than Sambrailo, the Broncos have no one on the roster that has played a significant amount of left tackle in the NFL. The team said that Donald Stephenson would have a chance to compete for that left tackle spot, as well as free agent signee Menelik Watson, but their involvement here seems to be more of a desperation move than anything.

There’s a possibility that Sambrailo finds his way back to the starting lineup, or the Broncos could pull of an improbable trade for a veteran like Jason Peters or Jared Veldheer, or they simply draft someone to take over right away. They could also scour the free agent market again, which currently includes former Chargers starting left tackle King Dunlap.

Those all seem like bad options at this point, but there are some players with promise in this year’s draft class. It just may take more time than the Broncos or their fans would like…