3 Biggest winners, 4 losers from Broncos first depth chart

- Greg Dulcich TE2?

- UDFA standout buried?

- Which players are winners and losers on the initial Denver Broncos depth chart?

Denver Broncos
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Depth Chart "loser": Tremon Smith, CB/KR

I'm not sure how much we really need to read into this one at this point. Maybe we just need to see Tremon Smith make an impact out there on the field before rushing to any judgments. He's listed with the third-string defense at the cornerback position, and we didn't even necessarily expect him to go out there and be anything but an emergency option at that position.

What's surprising about Smith's depth chart placement has little to do with his placement at cornerback and everything to do with the fact that he's not listed -- at all -- as a kickoff returner. There's no official depth chart for gunners on special teams, and Smith figures to be involved there, but the Broncos gave him a two-year deal with $2.5 million guaranteed and we've heard nothing about him in camp, he's listed behind an injured rookie (Riley Moss) on the depth chart, and he's not even listed at kick returner.

Depth chart "winner": Brandon Johnson, wide receiver

The wide receiver position for the Denver Broncos is obviously in somewhat of a state of transition or "next man up" if you will. The team waived KJ Hamler and has to deal with another season-ending injury to veteran Tim Patrick (Achilles). I don't think anyone quite knew what to assume regarding which player would replace Tim Patrick, but it's safe to say that Brandon Johnson stepping into that role was a surprise to most, if not everyone.

Johnson was a training camp/preseason story in 2022 as a rookie free agent. He would have made the Broncos' final roster if it weren't for an ankle injury that knocked him out in the preseason finale. Johnson is currently dealing with another ankle issue but he's also listed behind Courtland Sutton as the no. 3 receiver on the Broncos' depth chart.

That's pretty high for the Broncos to put someone just arbitrarily, especially when they could have gone the seniority route with someone like Marquez Callaway, who has experience in this offense. I think Johnson's placement was deliberate and he's a big winner from the depth chart release.