JACK DEMPSEY/Associated Press
By losing one player (Zane Beadles) on the offensive line, the Broncos now have three positions up front which are currently unsettled. They need to find starters at left guard, center and right tackle before the start of the regular season.
Third-round pick Michael Schofield will get an opportunity to compete for the starting right tackle job in training camp. He’s got the athleticism and position versatility the team covets on the offensive line. Schofield will have a chance to impress in minicamp and training camp.
Schofield is huge, measuring in at 6’7”, 301 pounds. At this time, he’s working on adding even more weight to his frame. Schofield has the size to control opponents at the line of scrimmage.
He anchors well as a run-blocker, and Schofield understands leverage to hold his ground. Schofield is an intimidating prospect because of his aggressive mentality. He loves to rough up an opponent, and this leads to defensive linemen who can start playing tentatively against Schofield as the game goes on.
Schofield does need to improve his play in space. He will play flat-footed at times against more athletic pass-rushers, and this gets him in trouble. He has long arms, but he will reach too far sometimes after getting beat by a quick edge player.
In order to win the starting job at right tackle, Schofield needs to get used to the uptempo offense. He’s gotten a taste of that during the team’s recent rookie minicamp.
“Oh, yeah. You can tell for practice, especially individual, we’re going non-stop, and when you’re going non-stop at this altitude, it’s no joke. It gets to you. You start getting winded pretty quick.”
His main competition for the job is veteran Chris Clark. He filled in last year at left tackle once Ryan Clady was lost for the season with a Lisfranc injury in Week 2 against the New York Giants. Clark did an okay job at left tackle, but he might be a better fit on the right side.
Clark has to be considered the front-runner for the starting job at this time. Schofield could push him for the job, but he might also get involved with the competition at left tackle. The rookie started 26 games at Michigan lining up at right tackle, but he also started 10 games for the Wolverines at left guard.
No matter what, Schofield is a valuable player for the Broncos with versatility and developmental upside.