Denver Broncos: 7 most heated offseason position battles
5. Interior offensive line
Trying to put together the ideal interior offensive line trio for the Denver Broncos is a lot like trying to complete an impossible Sudoku puzzle.
The Denver Broncos have a great problem on their hands in that there are simply too many guys for the three spots they have available.
Everyone would love to see an entirely home-grown offensive line. Even having four of the five spots on the offensive line be guys drafted by the Denver Broncos would be awesome to see, and that seems like a not-so-unrealistic possibility for the 2021 season.
Left tackle Garett Bolles had a breakthrough season in 2020, earning a massive long-term deal from the Broncos. He’s entrenched in his left tackle spot with 2019 second-round pick Dalton Risner working through some sophomore struggles and likely maintaining his starting job in year three as well.
The Broncos got Lloyd Cushenberry III in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft when many believed him to be the best center prospect in the entire class. He worked through some early struggles to become a key piece of the offensive line’s emergence down the stretch of the season.
At right guard, the Broncos have 2020 free agent acquisition Graham Glasgow, who will likely have his starting job again at least to open the season based on the financial investment the team made in him.
The two spots that I feel are most open for competition in 2021? Center and right guard.
The Broncos obviously saw enough in Quinn Meinerz to take a shot on him in the third round, and you don’t typically draft guys in the third round with the intent of sitting them on the bench. They may not end up being starters, but Meinerz was projected by many as a second-round player and he might have fallen beyond the top 64 picks based on his level of competition at Wisconsin-Whitewater and the fact that he wasn’t able to play this past season because the pandemic got his school’s season canceled.
Meinerz will be getting his first shot with the Denver Broncos at the center position, even though he played guard in college. He admitted he is “self-taught” at center so we’ll see what the Broncos’ plans are for him there.
If they do intend on playing him strictly as a center, it could speak volumes to what the team thinks of second-year player Netane Muti as a developmental option behind Graham Glasgow.
Muti’s start against the Carolina Panthers in 2020 was filled with more highlight-reel blocks, nothing he’s unfamiliar with at this point.
He was considered a top interior offensive line prospect by Pro Football Focus coming out with injuries the only reason he would fall beyond the second or third round.
The Broncos got him in the sixth, but he’s proven so far that he can stay healthy and if that continues, don’t be shocked if he steals Glasgow’s job at right guard.