Breaking Down Denver Broncos' 6 Biggest Training Camp Projects
But like most teams, they have a crop of young project players that need to be integrated into their system.
Some of these players are inexperienced rookies, while others are players who have been with the team but have yet to show what they can do on the big stage.
All six of these players could be keys to the future of the team, but coaching will have to help provide them with the tools they need for success, and training camp will be essential for them to apply these skills on the field.
Michael Schofield, Offensive Lineman
When Michael Schofield was sitting on the board in the third round of the draft, the Broncos saw a player who could help bolster their offensive line for years to come.
Schofield played both tackle and guard in college, and the Broncos would probably love for him to be the right tackle of the future. However, expecting that to happen in 2014 may be a bit unrealistic.
Luckily for the Broncos, the team has Chris Clark to man the right tackle spot, so Schofield can sit back and learn.
While Schofield is a very hardworking player, he isn't the strongest and doesn't have the best reactionary skills. Speed rushers coming off the edge could give him a lot of trouble at the NFL level.
Offensive line coach Dave Magazu should take Schofield under his wing on the first day of training camp, showing him how to be successful as a professional.
Gerell Robinson, Tight End
Gerell Robinson will be entering his third consecutive training camp as a member of the Denver Broncos. The past two years, there has just been too much talent at the wide receiver position for him to make the squad.
Still, it speaks to the level of his ability that the Broncos have kept him around and will experiment with him by making him a tight end this year.
Robinson has good hands and is tremendous as a runner after the catch. But does he have the skill set to be a tight end in the NFL?
If Robinson can be effective as a blocker, he may be able to make the roster, allowing the team to part ways with Joel Dreessen or Jacob Tamme—maybe even both.
Having Robinson and Julius Thomas could give the Broncos one of the most athletic tight end duos in the NFL.
Kapri Bibbs, Running Back
There is a roster spot ripe for the taking if you're a running back in Denver, and though Kapri Bibbs went undrafted, he should have a very good chance of making the final roster.
Montee Ball is the only sure thing at running back in Denver, and that makes for an interesting summer in training camp.
But Bibbs went undrafted for a reason, and the Broncos have a very small sample size to judge his ability on.
Last season, Bibbs stood out at Colorado State, rushing for 1,741 yards and a nation-leading 31 touchdowns. But that was his only season at the FBS level.
To make it in Denver, he will need to show he can catch the ball out of the backfield—he only had eight receptions last season—and be able to protect the quarterback.
Because the Broncos may want to see more of Bibbs than what they'll get in camp, he may be a prospect destined for the practice squad.
Vinston Painter, Offensive Lineman
The Broncos selected Vinston Painter in the sixth round of last year's NFL draft, moving him to the practice squad before the season started.
Though the team has a solid offensive line, it still seems Painter has a future with the team. That was evidenced by the fact that the Broncos promoted him from the practice squad prior to the AFC Championship Game against New England last year in order to keep him away from the San Francisco 49ers.
Painter has great size (6'6", 310 pounds) and is a physical specimen. If the Broncos can turn him into a more polished offensive lineman, he could give the team great depth this year and perhaps break into the starting lineup down the road.
Working against Painter is the fact that he is most likely a right tackle in the NFL, a position where the team is already in good shape.
If Painter doesn't have the ability to be a left tackle down the road, the Broncos may want to see what they can get for him in a trade at some point.
Lamin Barrow, Linebacker
Fifth-round draft pick Lamin Barrow could end up being a diamond in the rough for the Broncos.
He is a very intelligent player who is adept at diagnosing plays. He wraps up well as a tackler and has shown the ability to drop back into coverage. That is the trait that may make him a special player for Denver.
Still, he will have to prove he can keep up with tight ends and slot receivers at the NFL level, and that isn't going to happen immediately.
Barrow often takes poor angles in his attempt to make tackles, and you also see him overpursue plays more than you'd like. Those are things that can be coached, however.
Barrow will likely need to earn his keep on Denver as a member of the special teams unit as a rookie, but he could definitely blossom into a starting linebacker in the future.
Brock Osweiler, Quarterback
It's not often that a third-year NFL quarterback would be considered a project player. But let's face it, we don't really have any idea how good Brock Osweiler is.
Since being drafted, Osweiler has scarcely seen the field in any regular-season games, but that's exactly what the team was hoping for when they drafted him in the second round in 2012.
That means Peyton Manning has stayed healthy and the Broncos haven't had to hit the emergency switch.
But until Osweiler takes the helm as the starting quarterback of the Broncos, he will need continuous coaching and training in order to prepare him for what will certainly be some tough shoes to fill.
After the Broncos won back-to-back Super Bowls following the 1997 and 1998 seasons, John Elway retired. Brian Griese stepped in and promptly went 6-10 as the Broncos finished in last place in the AFC West.
Griese never really recovered in Denver, and it looked like he wasn't ready to handle the job. The Broncos don't want to see a repeat of that, which is why the development of Osweiler is crucial to the team's future.
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