During the 2017 season, the Broncos’ offensive line continued to struggle. Whether games were filled with penalties, sacks allowed, or (dare I say it) both, it was just a really bad year all-around for the unit tasked with protecting football’s most important position: quarterback.
Last year’s first-round draft pick, Garett Bolles, struggled as a rookie. He was at the top of the league in terms of penalties (12), and gave up eight sacks. I fully expect Bolles to rebound in his second season in the league, with a more experienced quarterback leading the team. Bolles will surely benefit from Keenum’s presence and knowledge of the game.
Tied with Bolles in terms of sacks allowed (8) was Menelik Watson. Watson played right tackle in 2017 for six of the first seven games. The left side of the offensive line was consistent in terms of who played each game. Bolles (LT), Garcia (LG) and Paradis (C) all played every game at their respective position.
At right guard, Ronald Leary played eleven games at right guard. He gave up just two sacks and commmitted six penalties. Also at right guard in 2017, when called upon was Connor McGovern. McGovern committed two penalties while surrendering just one sack.
At right tackle, the Broncos played four guys throughout the season. They were: Menelik Watson, Allen Barber, Donald Stephenson, and Cyrus Kouandjio. The right side of the line that protects the quarterback and blocks for running backs was a real mess for the Broncos in 2017.
I believe that new Bronco Jared Veldheer, acquired from the Arizona Cardinals earlier this year, will be inserted as the right tackle. That should hopefully solve the issue at the position for years to come.