Are the Denver Broncos excited about their offensive line heading into 2020?
Most Denver Broncos fans, even those approaching the 2020 season with a lot of optimism, but even those with the most optimistic outlook on the 2020 season are viewing the offensive line with a healthy bit of skepticism.
The Broncos' offensive line has not exactly proven itself in recent years, and fans' skepticism at this point is really a learned skepticism.
But the Broncos are entering year two under offensive line coach Mike Munchak, one of the best offensive linemen himself in NFL history and one of the best offensive line coaches over the last two decades.
Munchak wasn't exactly given a basket of old lemons and asked to make lemonade in Denver.
Over the last two offseasons, the Broncos have made substantial investments in the line, and apparently the team is very pleased with how the unit has been constructed.
Why would the Broncos be excited about their offensive line and even internally view it as a strength in 2020?
Let's take a look.
As previously mentioned, Munchak is an NFL Hall of Famer as a player and he's been a tremendous coach over the past couple of decades.
He has developed a lot of players through the years and the Broncos brought him in believing he could do the same with their group.
Heavy investments up front
The Broncos used a first-round pick on Garett Bolles in the 2017 NFL Draft. They used a second-round pick on Dalton Risner in the 2019 NFL Draft. They used a third-round pick on Lloyd Cushenberry III in the 2020 NFL Draft.
They also made both Ja'Wuan James and Graham Glasgow their top free agency priorities in the 2019 and 2020 offseasons, respectively.
Investing three premium draft selections and your biggest free agent dollars on the offensive line rightfully leads to high expectations internally. Not to mention, Munchak is probably one of the highest-paid assistants in the NFL right now.
Up to this point, the projected performance of the offensive line has been met with skepticism by some in Broncos Country because of Garett Bolles' inconsistency, Ja'Wuan James' injury history, and the fact that the starting center will be a rookie, but the reason for optimism based on the way the unit played when Drew Lock was in the lineup last year is obvious.
It's reasonable to project substantial improvement with a healthy James, the addition of Glasgow, and the progression of the younger players under Munchak in year two of his leadership.