Denver Broncos: Elijah Wilkinson could get a shot at right tackle

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 31: Offensive guard Cameron Hunt
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 31: Offensive guard Cameron Hunt /

The Denver Broncos have tried just about everything at right tackle, except for undrafted rookie Elijah Wilkinson, who could get his shot…

The Denver Broncos have been absolutely dreadful at the right tackle position this year. We wrote about that earlier this week. But despite their woes at right tackle, not every option has yet been explored. One of the last couple of remaining options is undrafted rookie Elijah Wilkinson, who was promoted recently to the 53-man roster after a rush of injuries on the offensive line.

Wilkinson was an undrafted player out of UMass, where he played all over the offensive line. There was a game UMass played against Florida, in particular, where Wilkinson played about every position on the line except for center.

For the Broncos and in Wilkinson’s professional career, he’ll settle in to a guard or right tackle role, and for the time being, he’s working at right tackle.

In limited preseason work, Wilkinson didn’t allow a hit, hurry, or sack on the quarterback.

So there’s that.

Perhaps it’s just the fact that he hasn’t gotten a chance to prove himself at all yet, but the idea of someone ‘new’ playing the right tackle is appealing if only for the fact that Denver’s play at the position this year has been worse than deplorable.

It doesn’t matter who they have put out there, whether starter Menelik Watson, backup Donald Stephenson, or even emergency options like Allen Barbre.

Could Wilkinson possibly be any worse?

After a little film study on him from his time at UMass, it’s clear that Wilkinson has some work to do as a pure tackle, but he has some skill as an offensive lineman and was definitely a solid pickup by the Broncos on the UDFA scrap heap.

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When playing tackle, whether right or left, Wilkinson showed an ability to keep up with speed off the edge as well as power. In pass protection, he would lose leverage at times to stronger players, but for the most part, he really held his own.

He showed he can seal off the edge in the outside running game, and also bury smaller linebacker and defensive backs when getting to the second level of defense.

He didn’t jump off the tape like Garett Bolles did, of course, but Wilkinson looks like he’d be worth a shot at some point in the regular season, and you have to think that’s why the Broncos have kept him on the active roster rather than subjecting him to waivers and putting him back on the practice squad.

Against the Patriots, the Broncos are expected to, again, try their luck with Barbre and/or Stephenson at right tackle, and 24-year old Cyrus Kouandjio was also brought in as a free agent this week.

We know what we have in Barbre and Stephenson, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Wilkinson get some playing time this weekend against the Patriots.