The Denver Broncos kicked off the next phase of installation on Wednesday as full-team minicamp kicked off at Dove Valley. There are no pads in these workouts, but the team does get to work on drills individually and as a group. These team drills give an idea of where players are at in the pecking order of the depth chart.
Per Broncos reporting guidelines, there is no reporting of which players are practicing with individual units (personnel groupings, starting lineups, blitz schemes, goal-line offense, nickel defense, etc.). However, we do know which positions are up for grabs with the starting lineup. We also know which positions are unsettled behind the starters.
Broncos head coach John Fox was excited about “Phase 3” of offseason training activities.
“It’s real football. I think you get to practice against somebody. Offense and defense practice against each other. That’s really the first phase where that’s allowed by the new CBA. So I just call it real football. Back on the grass. I think they get excited and I know all the coaches get excited about it.”
In today’s NFL a team needs quality starters and depth in case of injury.
The Broncos did a good job in free agency when adding supremely talented players like strong safety T.J. Ward, cornerback Aqib Talib, defensive end DeMarcus Ware and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. All four of these players should start and have big impacts with Denver this season.
They followed that up with a strong draft, especially in the first two rounds. Cornerback Bradley Roby should push for a starting job immediately. Even if veteran Chris Harris Jr. comes back fully from his partially-torn ACL injury, the team may decide to let Roby start on the outside opposite Talib.
Wide receiver Cody Latimer was a steal in the second round. Had the Broncos taken him at 31st overall instead, the NFL world would not have been shocked. He’s a talented player with the upside to be a future starter for the Broncos.
This collection of talent that was added has bolstered the roster in Denver. Now it’s time to see which players rise to the top—and it all starts in minicamp.
Here are some early predictions of the winners in the training camp battles that are coming up for the Broncos.