The Denver Broncos will not be playing many starters in the Hall of Fame Game against the Atlanta Falcons. Here’s what the starting lineup could look like.
The Denver Broncos are going to make way for Canton, OH to take on the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL’s annual Hall of Fame Game, the first preseason game played each year.
Their inclusion in this game gives the Broncos not four but five preseason games, which is not ideal for every player but is ideal for a lot of them.
The Broncos have 90 players on their roster currently. Only 53 of those players will head into the regular season on the active roster, and potentially just 10 more will make it to the practice squad after that.
Some may be picked up by other teams along the way, but these five preseason games could be the last meaningful football these guys play for another year, maybe more, maybe ever.
Therefore, I love the preseason. I think there’s a great element of competition despite the final result not making any bit of difference in the regular season standings. Make no mistake — these games are meaningful for thousands of players.
For a lot of guys, this could be one of the only games they run out of the tunnel to actually start as well. How will the Broncos line up when they take on the Falcons in this one to start things off? Here’s one way it could look based on what head coach Vic Fangio has said publicly.
QB: Kevin Hogan
RB: Devontae Booker
WR: Tim Patrick
WR: Juwann Winfree
TE: Noah Fant
LT: Garett Bolles
LG: Dalton Risner
C: Connor McGovern
RG: Don Barclay
RT: Elijah Wilkinson
LDE: Dre’Mont Jones
NT: Zach Kerr
RDE: DeMarcus Walker
LOLB: Dekoda Watson
LILB: Alexander Johnson
RILB: Joe Jones
ROLB: Justin Hollins
CB: Isaac Yiadom
CB: De’Vante Bausby
FS: Will Parks
SS: Su’a Cravens
Again, this list is a hypothetical, and it’s based on the depth chart the Broncos recently released, but we know a few starters are playing, including Bolles, Risner, and McGovern, if even for just a brief amount of time.
What will be interesting to watch is who replaces McGovern at center when he goes out of the game. The Broncos are not opposed to trying something else out at center if McGovern struggles to snap the ball when they go into the shotgun. He has to be on point there, and he has vowed to be. We’ll see. The Broncos’ backup center right now is Jake Brendel, who has worked in with the first-team offense at right guard some in camp.
It will also be fascinating to see how the Broncos divvy up the reps at quarterback. My guess is each guy will get about 33 percent of the game, whatever that looks like with Hogan starting off, Lock following him, and Rypien after that.
The Broncos’ starting defense really has the look of a, well, regular season defense. If the Broncos had that group out there during the regular season, it would obviously not be the ideal lineup, but I don’t think that’s a terrible group by any means.
It doesn’t have the Broncos’ top star players, but we shouldn’t be surprised to see all 11 of those guys playing a critical role in the defense this season.
With that being the case, I would think their appearance in this game will be short-lived.
We’re going to get a ton of the third and fourth-string in this game, and guys even beyond that on the depth chart. That means we’re going to see a lot of the UDFAs and roster hopefuls. It won’t give us a glimpse into regular season football, but we’ll get to see a number of the players we’ve been hearing about in OTAs and training camp.
If even for a series or two, or maybe even a quarter, we’ll get some valuable tape to evaluate these players and what they bring to the table.