The Denver Broncos play their first preseason game of 2021 on Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings. This year is different in terms of the preseason because now, instead of four games, there are only two. That does not give bubble players much opportunity to make a strong case to make the team.
The Broncos currently have 31 players on their roster that they themselves have drafted. That’s a total of 34 percent.
Ever since the Super Bowl 50 victory over the Carolina Panthers, the team has been in rebuild mode. There have been star players along the way, and there have been bust players along the way.
20 of the players on the team were drafted over the last two seasons.
Which of these players are potentially on the roster bubble? Which of them will make the team? Let’s take a look at five.
Tyrie Cleveland, WR
Tyrie Cleveland was a seventh-round pick by the team in the 2020 Draft. As a rookie, Cleveland was targeted nine times and caught six passes for 63 yards and four first downs with zero touchdowns.
The wide receiver position is a strong spot on the Denver Broncos’ roster. Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, and K.J. Hamler are guarantees to make the 53-man roster. Who takes the fifth and sixth spots? It appears that Cleveland is fighting for a spot on the roster with Trinity Benson, Seth Williams, and Kendall Hinton.
Cleveland has contributed on special teams and is currently the backup to Diontae Spencer at kick returner. It is possible that somebody surpasses him in the coming weeks, which could knock him down the depth chart and potentially off the team altogether.
The thinking here is that Cleveland played just over 6 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in 2020 (72 of 1,076). Spencer, in comparison, played just under that number, at 65 offensive snaps.
Benson and Hinton have reportedly impressed in training camp and Williams could be a solid target on offense.
In his rookie season, Cleveland returned 10 kickoffs for 234 yards.
There may not be enough balls to go around for Cleveland to make a difference and stick on the team.