Denver Broncos: Jared Veldheer’s depth chart impact

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 11: David Johnson
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 11: David Johnson /

The Denver Broncos acquired Jared Veldheer in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals. Here’s the impact of the deal on the team’s depth chart…

The Denver Broncos made a big move to acquire offensive tackle Jared Veldheer from the Arizona Cardinals, trading away a sixth round pick to get the deal done.

As such, the Broncos now have nine of the 11 draft picks they originally owned, with no pick beyond the fifth round.

Veldheer, however, could help push some other, maybe higher graded players up their board. The Broncos now have one less major need going into the 2018 NFL Draft, and have pretty well solidified their offensive line at the tackle position, at least for this season.

This move has huge depth chart implications for the Broncos, starting with this little nugget:

If the plan is to move Leary to the left guard position, that will be a huge help to Bolles on that side of the offense. With Leary at left guard, the Broncos could promote Connor McGovern to a permanent starting position at right guard, where he finished last season.

I think right now, you could pencil in a starting five for the Broncos’ offensive line and they can really let the draft board come to them. Here’s how I would project their starting lineup right now:

Left tackle: Garett Bolles
Left guard: Ron Leary
Center: Matt Paradis
Right guard: Connor McGovern
Right tackle: Jared Veldheer

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I think any of us would have taken that lineup last year, all things considered. The Broncos have acquired a starting offensive lineman via trade now in consecutive years, last year acquiring Allen Barbre for a late-round pick.

This time around, the Broncos made the trade prior to the draft, solidifying a solid starting five before they make a single pick.

The Broncos also re-signed their own tackle/guard in Billy Turner, who has been with the team since 2016. They also have under contract former second round pick Cyrus Kouandjio, who could be an ideal swing tackle candidate in case of injury.

On the interior, there are a number of intriguing options on the Broncos’ roster currently, including a waiver pickup last year in J.J. Dielman, whom the team liked prior to the 2017 NFL Draft, as well as former third round pick Jeremiah Poutasi.

The biggest question right now is what this means for the future of Menelik Watson with the Broncos. He was horrendous in his first year with the team, allowing nine sacks and not even playing an entire season.

There’s very little chance he comes back to Denver next season without a reduction in pay, as he’s set to count over $7 million against the Broncos’ 2018 cap.