Denver Broncos: Mike Klis roster prediction is interesting

Denver Broncos - Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos - Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

On Friday, Mike Klis of 9News released his 53-man roster prediction for the Denver Broncos, and there are some notable things to discuss.  The Broncos have until August 30th to reduce their roster down to the cap of 53 players.  There are going to be plenty more cuts, and perhaps some trades and whatnot, and this was a chance for Mike Klis to use the sources that he has around the Broncos to make a roster prediction.

He predicts the team will keep two quarterbacks on the active roster, and perhaps one slides back onto the practice squad.  Russell Wilson/Brett Rypien looks to be the top two players for the quarterback room.  His three running back prediction is simple and expected: Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon, and Mike Boone.

This is arguably the deepest unit in the NFL, with Andrew Beck earning the fullback spot in Klis’ prediction.  There could be some movement with the tight ends, but right now, specifically between Greg Dulcich and Eric Saubert, as Dulcich’s injury could force him to land on the injured serve, in which the Broncos bring back Saubert for that timeframe.

Albert Okwuegbunam and Eric Tomlinson round out the tight end room.  The wide receiver room is very crowded, and Denver could even bring someone in via trade if they wanted.  The top four players seem to be locked in: Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Montrell Washington.  Mike Klis has Brandon Johnson, and then a pick between Kendall Hinton or Tyrie Cleveland for the Broncos.

Cleveland is a special teamer, so perhaps the Denver Broncos could keep seven receivers, but I would guess that he could even land on the practice squad.  Moving to the offensive line, Mike Klis thinks the team will keep four offensive tackles until they know that Billy Turner won’t have a setback with his knee surgery.  The nine players he’s projected here include Garett Bolles, Dalton Risner, Lloyd Cushenberry III, Quinn Meinerz, Billy Turner, Calvin Anderson, Graham Glashow, Cam Fleming, Luke Wattenberg, and Netani Muti.

Billy Turner getting close to 100% could mean that the team parts with a player from this unit.  The specialists of Brandon McManus and Jacob Bobenmoyer are not going anywhere, although Corliss Waitman is making a case to take Sam Martin’s place on the roster, who is $1.4 more expensive than Waitman.  We’ll see how this ultimately shakes out.

Mike Klis hints at a “punt-off” in the preseason finale.  The defensive line, outside of the top four, is a hard group to project, according to Klis.  Outside of The Joneses, Mike Purcell, and DeShawn Williams, Klis has “X player OR X player” thing going with Eyioma Uwazurike/Matt Henningsen, and McTelvin Agim/Jonathan Harris.

I think the Denver Broncos will end up keeping their rookies, Uwazurike and Henningsen, and cutting Agim and Harris.  Agim has unfortunately had a rough 2022 offseason and has not done enough to stick around, in my opinion.  The top four outside linebackers are about set, with Randy Gregory, Bradley Chubb, Nik Bonitto, and Baron Browning all but locked it, but Klis notes that the team may have to choose between Malik Reed and Jonathon Cooper.

Both have some talent and would be competent backups, but at the same time, I do think Denver could get a draft pick for either player.  The Denver Broncos should keep four inside linebackers, them being Josey Jewell, Jonas Griffith, who is questionable for week one, Alex Singleton, and Justin Strnad.  I wish the team would have done more with this unit, but these four appear to be who the Broncos will roll with in 2022.

Mike Klis is projecting five cornerbacks for the Denver Broncos, and outside of the top three of Patrick Surtain II, Ronald Darby, and K’Waun Williams, he slides in rookie Damarri Mathis, and Michael Ojemudia or a waiver claim.  I think Denver should look to keep six cornerbacks on the roster for 2022.  Five doesn’t seem like quite enough, especially with Darby and Williams having some injury concerns.

The last group are the safeties, and we know that Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, Caden Sterns, and PJ Locke are locked in.  Klis notes that the Denver Broncos, if they only keep five cornerbacks, could keep five safeties, in which Delarrin Turner-Yell could be the fifth guy, but if the team does end up keeping six cornerbacks, the Broncos may have to part with a safety, and Turner-Yell would be the odd man out.