Training camp is here for the Denver Broncos which means we are one step closer to kicking off the 2023 season.
The Broncos will spend the next several weeks practicing at the team's Centura Health Training Center. Joint practices with the Los Angeles Rams have been announced for late August as well, with the Rams coming to Englewood for two days.
Using the 53-man roster I recently projected, I am going to attempt to predict which players will be added to the team's practice squad following roster cutdowns.
The idea of the practice squad has been greatly expanded as the NFL has become the machine in the sports landscape that it is. Initially, teams were allowed just five players on the practice squad. That was moved to 10 years later and following the COVID-19 pandemic, practice squads went up to 16 players.
So which players are eligible for the practice squad?
- Any number of players who have not played in at least nine games of any NFL season.
- Up to four players who have accrued no more than four NFL seasons.
- Up to six players with any amount of playing experience.
All players who appear on this list are assumed to have cleared waivers after the Broncos initially cut them.
Predicting the Denver Broncos' 2023 practice squad
Ben DiNucci, Quarterback: The Broncos have already made the move to cut Jarrett Guarantano, meaning that DiNucci will be the third quarterback. If the team doesn't keep all three on the main roster, he will almost certainly be placed on the practice squad.
Jaleel McLaughlin, Running back: McLaughlin is small, but so was Darren Sproles, who thrived with Sean Payton. There could be a path to some playing time for this guy.
Montrell Washington, Wide receiver: Tremon Smith wins the job as the team's kick returner, but Washington just becomes a victim of the numbers game. The Broncos will want to keep him around if they can.
Brandon Johnson, Wide receiver: Brandon Johnson had a great summer last year and likely would have made the 53-man roster if not for an injury in the preseason finale.
Kendall Hinton, Wide receiver: Kendall Hinton finds a way to stick around. This is the role for him. A good practice squad player who the team can call for in a pinch.
Alex Palczewski, Offensive tackle: The undrafted tackle out of Illinois earns an extended stay with the team.
Quinn Bailey, Guard: Bailey has been with the Broncos since 2019. Like Hinton, he is the perfect guy to stash on the practice squad and be able to call up for a game or two when an injury occurs.
P.J. Mustipher, Defensive lineman: Mustipher went undrafted out of Penn State and has enough potential to get a further look from the team.
Mike Purcell, Defensive lineman: Another veteran with a lot of experience, Purcell buys more time in Denver.
Thomas Incoom, Edge: Incoom is going to make a push to make the roster outright but if he doesn't, he's all but a lock to be on the practice squad, providing no other team grabs him off the waiver wire first.
Aaron Patrick, Edge: Another player who many will see as a 53-man roster guy, Patrick is another player who offers good special teams play.
Seth Benson, Linebacker: The Broncos have a solid unit at the inside linebacker spot, but Benson offers great value as a special teams guy.
Art Green, Cornerback: Another player who is going to be a tough cut, Green might be the best undrafted free agent in this year's bunch.
Ja'Quan McMillian, Cornerback: You will see others making their 53-man roster projections with McMillian on the team. Undrafted out of East Carolina, he made one start for the team last year.
P.J. Locke, Safety: There is still a great chance that Locke will make the team for his special teams value ahead of someone like rookie JL Skinner, or the team could keep five safeties on the final roster.
Delarrin Turner-Yell, Safety: Much like the case of Montrell Washington, there is just too much talent ahead of Turner-Yell on the depth chart, but the Broncos won't lety him completely slip away if they can help it.