Denver Broncos 2022: Strongest and weakest parts of roster

Sep 26, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos free safety Justin Simmons (31) motions after a play in the first quarter against the New York Jets at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos free safety Justin Simmons (31) motions after a play in the first quarter against the New York Jets at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos’ initial 53-man roster was set recently. What could we say are the strongest and weakest parts of the team thus far?  The initial roster that we see now is going to change in the coming days and weeks.  As players get injured and move to and from IR, appropriate roster moves will be made.

However, the unquestioned players on the roster are ones we can evaluate as entire units.  Denver is going to have to bring their A-game this season, as they not only have to play in the much better AFC but the best division in football in the AFC West.

I would expect that George Paton continues to turn over every stone in hopes of constructing the best roster possible.  I do think there are a couple more moves he can make to do this, but as for now, we know what the Denver Broncos’ initial 53-man roster looks like.

Which position groups are the strongest, and which could use a boost?

Denver Broncos roster strengths and weaknesses in 2022

Strong: EDGE – Bradley Chubb, Randy Gregory, Baron Browning, Nik Bonitto, Jonathon Cooper, Aaron Patrick

What was just about the worst unit in the NFL in 2021 has turned into one of the deepest units in the NFL with high-end talent.  Free agent addition Randy Gregory looks poised to build on his promising 2021 campaign, where he helped the Cowboys defense turn into one of the better units in the league.

Bradley Chubb hopes to return to his 2018 or 2020 form, along with the team moving Baron Browning from inside linebacker to outside, and drafting Nik Bonitto in the second round.  Both Cooper and Patrick are fine as depth pieces, but the top four players at this position figure to form one of the deepest units in the NFL.

In fact, I do think Baron Browning could easily start week one, but it appears as though Gregory and Chubb are in line to start week one.  I do think we could see Browning play some at inside linebacker, effectively playing the same way Micah Parsons did last year in Dallas.

Needs some work still: Cornerback – Patrick Surtain II, Ronald Darby, K’Waun Williams, Michael Ojemudia, Damarri Mathis, Essang Bassey

While the Broncos have three very good corners, two of them come with serious injury concerns, and the depth behind them is questionable.  Michael Ojemudia hasn’t looked great in 2022, after hardly playing in 2021. Damarri Mathis is a rookie and is likely needing some time to transition to the league, and Essang Bassey hasn’t exactly been promising, but I guess is a moderately quality backup.

I think the Broncos need to add another solid body to this unit, and perhaps part with Ojemudia or Bassey.  Joe Haden, Janoris Jenkins, and Xavier Rhodes come to mind as players who could help boost this unit. Hopefully, George Paton is in the same boat as I am with the cornerbacks.  Adding another quality body seems urgent, in my opinion.

Strong: Offensive line – Garett Bolles, Quinn Meinerz, Lloyd Cushenberry, Dalton Risner, Calvin Anderson, Billy Turner, Graham Glasgow, Luke Wattenberg, Cam Fleming

I personally think this is a very solid and deep unit.  The team could have three solid tackles on their hands in Bolles, Anderson, and Turner.  They’ve also got players who can play multiple positions on the interior, and some young talent as well.

Russell Wilson will elevate the offensive line a bit, and they ranked out as an average unit in 2021, so I think we could be talking about a top 10-ish unit at the end of the season.  If Lloyd Cushenberry can take another step forward in 2022, this unit will be extremely solid across the board.

Needs some work still: Defensive line – DJ Jones, Dre’Mont Jones, DeShawn Williams, Matt Henningsen, Eyioma Uwazurike

While I love the top two players in this unit, I find the rest of it rather uninspiring, and I think Denver needs to add a quality player here very quickly.  The team appears to be relying on two unproven rookies for their main source of depth, and DeShawn Williams hasn’t been able to establish himself as a starter before, and he’s currently penciled in as the third one.

I’m not sure why Denver hasn’t done more with this unit, since it was the weakest part of the defense in 2021.  DJ Jones is a nice addition, but I think we need to see more.  To be fair, though, the team did release Mike Purcell and apparently has plans to re-sign him.  It seems like they wanted to get him back on the team at a lower cap number, so Purcell’s presence should help, but I do believe another addition is needed.