5 mistakes the Denver Broncos made with their final 53-man roster
Denver Broncos general manager George Paton deserves a ton of credit. He’s got himself a big-money superstar quarterback. He’s got arguably the best duo of running backs in the league, an exciting group of receivers, a defense full of playmakers, and arguably two of the top 10 defensive backs in the NFL right now. On top of it all, Paton has the Denver Broncos’ roster looking as deep as it has in a long, long time.
Still, we’ve got to critique some of the decisions he made when assembling this roster along with Nathaniel Hackett and the coaching staff. Paton and assistant GM Darren Mougey revealed an awesome strategy of putting together the overall 53-man roster which included the personnel department and coaching staff making their own versions of the roster before the two came together and collaborated.
Paton has always preached the importance of collaboration, and you love to see it in action, especially with a new coaching staff in place. But when looking at the roster 1-53, were the right decisions made? What could (or should) the team have done differently?
Let’s look at five mistakes the Broncos made in their initial 53-man roster construction from where I’m sitting.
Denver Broncos roster mistake no. 1: Not upgrading the TE position
One thing we need to address quickly is the tight end position in Denver. This is an area of concern going into the regular season. Rookie Greg Dulcich is on temporary IR and expected back for Week 5, but what will the Broncos do in the meantime? Well, let’s take a look at the state of things at the tight end spot going into the season.
Albert Okwuegbunam has been the presumptive TE1 since Noah Fant was traded to the Seahawks in the Russell Wilson deal. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what does the team think of the former fourth-round pick? Albert O. was playing into the fourth quarter of preseason games before being put on ice for the third. As of the second preseason game, head coach Nathaniel Hackett said that Okwuegbunam needed more reps, then he was rested for the third game. So which is it?
The Broncos have Eric Tomlinson, Eric Saubert, and fullback/tight end hybrid Andrew Beck on the roster as other options, but I’m just not sold at this point that they have enough at the position to really be able to sleep well at night about this spot. Their actions in the preseason indicated a slight lack of faith in Okwuegbunam at best.
Considering the fact that Dulcich was expected to help pick up some of the slack with Tim Patrick going down for the season, it seems reasonable to be a little skeptical of the “next man up” mentality at an already depleted position group.