Denver Broncos: Immediate 53-Man Roster Cut Predictions Post-Dallas Game

Travis WakemanCorrespondent IIAugust 29, 2014

Denver Broncos: Immediate 53-Man Roster Cut Predictions Post-Dallas Game

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Following their 27-3 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in preseason action Thursday night, the Denver Broncos must now face one of the most difficult parts of the season—selecting a final roster.

    Coaches will sift through game tape and notes, looking for the best combination of players to reach a 53-man roster. Luckily for them, they have some very good talent from which to choose.

    All teams must reduce their roster to 53 players by Aug. 30, setting the stage for the regular season to kick off.

    The Broncos had some very good competition at several key positions, including running back and defensive tackle.

    Read on for a glimpse at how the final Denver roster may look now that all the preseason games have been played.


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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    Keep: Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler and Zac Dysert

    Cut: None


    Peyton Manning is obviously the quarterback for as long as he wants to be, but what happens when he walks away?

    That picture became a little more clear this preseason as Brock Osweiler showed how much he has grown in the system since being drafted by the Broncos.

    Osweiler not only made some very good throws this preseason, but he can also get the job done with his feet. While we won't know how good Osweiler will be until he gets some meaningful playing time, fans should be a little more comfortable after what they saw him do during the preseason.

    Zac Dysert, on the other hand, looks good in a backup role. Dysert went 12-for-18 for 106 yards and one touchdown in limited action this preseason.

    He shows good command and good decision-making when he does get the chance, and he could be a solid future No. 2 quarterback for the Broncos.

    If nothing else, they may have some attractive trade bait for another team.

Running Back

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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    Keep: Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman, C.J. Anderson and Juwan Thompson

    Cut: Kapri Bibbs


    Realistically, the Broncos should consider keeping Kapri Bibbs over C.J. Anderson. The good news for the Broncos is they have a great crop of young running backs here and each of them deserves more time with the team.

    Montee Ball has the starting job locked down for the foreseeable future, so the rest of the bunch is competing for a complementary role.

    Juwan Thompson is the player that has stood out the most. He has just been too good to cut.

    Thompson is a tough runner who can protect the quarterback and catch the ball out of the backfield. On top of that, he would make a very good special teams player. What more would you want?

    Bibbs, despite scoring three rushing touchdowns this preseason, will be waived and then likely moved to the practice squad. That is, if no other team jumps up to claim him, a very realistic possibility.

Wide Receiver

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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    Keep: Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Emmanuel Sanders, Andre Caldwell, Cody Latimer, Isaiah Burse

    Cut: Bennie Fowler, Nathan Palmer


    All of the wide receivers listed as keepers are basically locks to make the roster, with the exception of Isaiah Burse. However, with the uncertainty surrounding Wes Welker's recent concussion, the Broncos may feel the need to keep an extra receiver.

    Burse showed he can help the team in more than one area in the preseason finale, catching four passes for 65 yards against the Cowboys. He also had 44 yards on two punt returns.

    The Broncos could also opt to place Burse on the practice squad and call him up to the main roster should something happen with Welker. That would allow the Broncos to keep another player at a different position.

    Bennie Fowler is a player the Broncos would like to see more of, so a spot on the practice squad is a definite possibility for him.

    He has a strong skill set, he just needs to have it refined. Fowler is an aggressive wide receiver who can really do some damage with the ball in his hands. If the Broncos are patient, they could mold Fowler into a very good NFL wide receiver.

Tight End

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Keep: Julius Thomas, Jacob Tamme, Virgil Green

    Cut: Gerell Robinson, Cameron Morrah, Jameson Konz


    Tight end is a spot where the Denver coaching staff could have some very tough decisions. All six of these guys are good enough to make the team.

    Julius Thomas is blossoming into one of the best tight ends in the league, and Peyton Manning will probably want Jacob Tamme around due to his familiarity with him.

    Cameron Morrah is an interesting case, as he has looked good in the preseason. He had six catches for 88 yards and a touchdown and seemed to be able to get open regularly. Denver just has too much in front of him.

    Between Thomas, Tamme and the untapped potential of Virgil Green, there simply is no room for any other tight ends.

Offensive Line

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Keep: Ryan Clady, Chris Clark, Michael Schofield, Manny Ramirez, Will Montgomery, Orlando Franklin, Louis Vasquez, Vinston Painter

    Cut: Paul Cornick, Ben Garland, Matthew Paradis, Ryan Miller


    The Denver offensive line should be stronger and more physical this year, getting an inside push from Orlando Franklin, who has converted from tackle to guard.

    The rest of the starting offensive line is as good as it gets with Ryan Clady, Louis Vasquez, Manny Ramirez and Chris Clark.

    Vinston Painter, Will Montgomery and third-round draft pick Michael Schofield will all make the team as reserves, while Ben Garland, Ryan Miller, Matthew Paradis and Paul Cornick will be sent packing.

    Paradis, a sixth-round draft choice out of Boise State, should find his way to the practice squad.

Defensive Line

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    Keep: Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson, Quanterus Smith, DeMarcus Ware, Terrance Knighton, Sylvester Williams, Marvin Austin, Kevin Vickerson

    Cut: Mitch Unrein, Kenny Anunike, Sione Fua, Brian Sanford


    Denver possesses a very talented defensive line, capable of shutting down the running game and putting a lot of pressure on the quarterback.

    Because of that, the decisions regarding the roster will be very difficult to make.

    The real wild card is Mitch Unrein, a player who has been with Denver since 2010. He just seems to make a play any time his number is called, and he will be tough to let go of because of that.

    Sure, the Broncos could opt to keep another pass-rusher like Kenny Anunike in favor of Unrein, but they have enough speed and experience to be able to get to the quarterback.

    It would make much more sense to keep Unrein and move a guy like Anunike to the practice squad.

    To my eyes, most impressive #Broncos player so far has been DT Marvin Austin.

    — MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) August 29, 2014

    Marvin Austin has been a very good story for the Broncos, and by the time the season ends, he may be one of the best stories in the league.

    He makes the middle of the defensive line even more stout.


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    JACK DEMPSEY/Associated Press

    Keep: Von Miller, Nate Irving, Danny Trevathan, Brandon Marshall, Lerentee McCray, Steven Johnson, Lamin Barrow

    Cut: Corey Nelson, Shaquil Barrett, L.J. Fort


    One of the keys to Denver's season could be how the team fills the role of Danny Trevathan, who will miss some time due to injury. Brandon Marshall played well against San Francisco in preseason action and should get the shot to replace Trevathan.

    Steven Johnson is squarely on the bubble to make the roster, but he is a solid tackler who can drop back into coverage. He is also one of the better special teams players on the roster.

    The Broncos have more than one reason to keep him around.

    As for Shaquil Barrett and Corey Nelson, both would be excellent candidates for the practice squad with a chance to grow into very strong contributors to the team.


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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    Keep: Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, Bradley Roby, Kayvon Webster, Omar Bolden, Tony Carter, T.J. Ward, Rahim Moore, Quinton Carter, David Bruton, Duke Ihenacho

    Cut: Louis Young, Jordan Sullen, John Boyett, Jerome Murphy


    Denver has a well-rounded, talented secondary. With the additions of Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward as well as a healthy Chris Harris, it should be amongst the best in the league.

    Most everyone in the secondary deserves to make the team, but Denver can't keep them all. Of those released, Louis Young and Jordan Sullen could easily find roles on the practice squad.

    Jerome Murphy has played well at times in the preseason despite not seeing much time on the field. He will be a tough player to let go of, but the Broncos have a wealth of talent in front of him.

    The big question will be Quinton Carter. As a rookie, Carter appeared to be one of the best young safeties in the league. But after missing nearly all of the past two seasons, many questions need to be answered.

    Do the Broncos even want to take the time to find out?

Special Teams

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    Kicker: Brandon McManus

    Punter: Britton Colquitt

    Long Snapper: Aaron Brewer


    Serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, Matt Prater will miss games against Indianapolis, Kansas City, Seattle and Arizona. That's not exactly a cakewalk for Denver.

    Even so, Brandon McManus, or whoever handles the kicking duties in his absence, will only be doing so until he gets back.

    So there is a kicker who will get to wear a Denver uniform for four games. After missing two field goals in the preseason finale, McManus may not be that guy.

    Playing a tough schedule, the Broncos need a reliable kicker who can help them pull out tough wins in close games. They may not have confidence in McManus.

    Brandon McManus missed from 52 earlier, which reminds me Broncos will work out kickers. Andrew Furney (NYJ) + I believe Dustin Hopkins (Buf)

    — Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 29, 2014

    It wouldn't be surprising to see the Broncos invite some kickers to come and work out for the team next week. In fact, it should almost be expected.