Hey, it's me again. This time I'm going to move away from the general league-wide discussion and move into a more focused approach, specifically on my favourite team, the Denver Broncos.
I'm going to make an attempt to predict the 53 man roster we'll have on opening day. I don't have any psychic powers, so for the most part, I'm going with my gut here. Anyway, let's move on to the big deal.
1. Kyle Orton
2. Tim Tebow
3. Brady Quinn
I have no doubt in my mind that Tebow will get to the second QB spot by the end of preseason. The man crush our coach has on him pretty much guarantees it. I have no idea whether Tebow will be good or not, but I do know I'd rather have him at fullback. I might be the only one, though.
More importantly, I believe that Kyle Orton will retain his job. He had a very good year in 2009. Not an elite year, but better than other guys in this league who have the franchise on their shoulders.
Orton is still a young QB, and while he doesn't have a big arm, he does know how to manage a football game and play it safe. And that's the best thing we've got right now.
1. Knowshon Moreno
2. Correll Buckhalter
3. J.J. Arrington
I really don't like the depth we have here at runningback, so I hope Brian Westbrook decides Denver is the place to go.
Knowshon was only all right last year, and Buckhalter had a good YPC, but didn't get on the field a lot. Don't expect an effective run game this year in Denver; unless Knowshon steps up, this'll be a rough year.
1. Spencer Larsen
I hate you, Josh McDaniels.
We traded Peyton Hillis, and Tim Tebow isn't gonna play fullback for us. So instead of putting this beast at inside linebacker where he belongs, he's our only fullback on the roster. I'm just shaking my head in disappointment.
1. Eric Decker
2. Jabar Gaffney
3. Eddie Royal
4. Brandon Stokely
5. Demaryius Thomas
6. Kenny McKinely
I just want to get off my chest that I love Eric Decker. I think he's gonna be a beast for a long time and a near-perfect replacement for Brandon Marshall. He's the receiver we drafted that can play football, catch, block, and run, but didn't look good in the scouts' eyes.
I have Jabar as our no.2 because of how effective he was in the last game this year and how much experience he has had in McD's scheme.
Eddie Royal is probably just going to be our deep decoy again this year, and Brandon Stokely is no Wes Welker.
I have DeMaryius Thomas at the fifth spot because this guy is not a football player. He's an excellent athlete, but he can't block and he can't catch, and since he was our first round pick, we can't just get rid of him. Kenny would be our sixth receiver, but he's a real good returner and I think he'll make a roster spot by virtue of that.
1. Marquez Branson
2. Daniel Graham
Oh hey, another talent deficient position. Josh likes having a lot of tight ends, but Branson is the only guy we have who isn't a smaller offensive lineman.
By virtue of that, I have him as the "starter", but we'll probably be using Daniel Graham way more often as the blocker of the group.
Richard Quinn is a fringe pick, but I don't think he'll make it this year.
LT. Ryan Clady
RT. Ryan Harris
3rd OT. Tyler Polumbus
With Clady's injury, our offensive line looks a lot hairier than it should. Clady should be back by the start of the regular season, but if he isn't, Denver is in some serious trouble.
Ryan Harris is an all right right tackle, but he needs to play harder if he wants to keep a roster spot. Zane Beadles and Tyler Polumbus are both pushing him for the starting job. Clady, get healthy soon, please.
LG. Zane Beadles
RG. Chris Kuper
3rd OG. Russ Hochstein
I don't know what to expect from Zane Beadles, but I think he has the inside track to the Left Guard spot. Besides Russ, there isn't much competition at the spot. Though I could see him acting as a swing tackle as well, he can certainly push for the right tackle spot.
On the other side, Kuper is the one of the most solid guys we've had at right guard; nothing spectacular, but he does his job well.
Hochstein is a classic McDaniels guy and should get a roster spot because he's one of those vets McD likes.
1. J.D. Walton
2. Eric Olsen
I really don't know what to tell you. These are the most talented guys we have left in a large group of young interior linemen, but they've shown nothing in the Pros yet. I just hope that Walton or Olsen are more like Tom Nalen and less like Justin Hartwig. Only time will tell, but our line looks pretty rough right now.
1. Jarvis Green
2. Darrell Reid
3. Justin Bannan
4. Marcus Thomas
Since Denver runs a rather classic 3-4, the guys up front are expected to take up blockers, so Dumervil and Ayers can run wild in the backfield. Losing Vonnie Holliday is a huge blow, and Denver can only hope the free agent acquisitions of Green and Bannan can replace what Holliday brought.
Reid works more as a gap penetrator, but he's excellent moving around and is very versatile on our front. Marcus Thomas is a swing end/nose guard kind of guy and find his home on the depth chart here.
1. Jamal Williams
2. Ronald Fields
3. Chris Baker
Another free agent acquisition is our best guy to start here. The key thing here is health. If Jamal Williams can stay healthy for even just the first 10 games of the season, Ronald Fields is an effective replacement for the last six.
There is no real problem with talent here, but Jamal Williams is on his last legs, so he's gonna need a lot of rotation. Fields was good but not great last year, and Chris Baker hangs around because of his high potential to be our guy in the future.
1. Elvis Dumervil
2. Robert Ayers
3. Mario Haggan
4. Jammie Kirklew
5. Jarvis Moss
Elvis Dumervil was a pleasant surprise last year, and he's a class act as well, practicing while waiting for a long term deal. There will probably be a drop off in production this year, but that should be compensated by the improvement of Robert Ayers.
We've got two young bookends, and if Ayers shows something amazing rushing the passer this year, then we'll be set for a long time.
Haggan is an effective veteran—not a lot of talent, but generally pretty smart and knows how to play inside and out.
Kirklew is my big surprise; I think he'll leapfrog Jarvis Moss and the other outside backers we have to get a few snaps this year. The no-talent Moss barely holds on to a roster spot.
1. D.J. Williams
2. Akin Ayodele
3. Wesley Woodyard
We've got a solid group of guys here. D.J. is the star, a smart, speedy linebacker. Akin is the Andra Davis replacement, and might have a career boost at the spot. Wesley is an effective coverage linebacker, and as much as I'd like to see him on the field more, he has quite a bit of give against the run. Spencer might steal a few snaps at linebacker if we were ever to pick up another fullback.
1. Champ Bailey
2. Alphonso Smith
3. Andre Goodman
4. Nate Jones
5. Perrish Cox
6. Syd'Quan Thompson
Of course Champ is our number one guy. Do I really need to say more about him? I hope not, because the real issue here is that Alphonso Smith needs to step up. We burned a first rounder on him (technically), so I have him here by virtue of his need to start at corner.
Andre will be good in the nickel, because he just looked outmatched against the no.2 receivers in the league. Nate Jones and the two rookies were hard to figure out.
Nate will prolly get more PT because he's a veteran and he's used to similar defensive schemes from Miami. Cox and Thompson should be solid return men and could rise quickly in the depth chart if Alphy and Goodman play like crap, which is a sad possibility.
FS. Darcel McBath
SS. Brian Dawkins
3. Renaldo Hill
4. David Bruton
5. Josh Barrett
I liked what I saw from Darcel last year in his limited play time. I think he's ready to take a starting job this year.
Having Brian play the strong safety position is just common sense. Renaldo Hill is a great depth safety to have, Bruton has a good bit of potential at safety, and Josh is just filling out the roster.
K: Matt Prater
P: Britton Colquitt
LS: Lonnie Paxton
As long as we aren't putting Mitch Berger at punter again, we should be fine. One of our biggest problems last year was letting go of the strong-legged Brett Kern for the pussyfoot Mitch Berger. Hopefully we rectify that situation and show that we have a good special teams unit in all aspects.
So that's it. We've got a lot of roster turnover, but we've got some really good starters in certain positions. The real mystery is our defensive and offensive lines and if we aren't good in those aspects, it's going to be another long year. Hopefully a year in which Josh McDaniels gets fired.
Ah well, a fan can dream, especially if it's all he's got left. I've got faith in our roster this year, but our coaches make me worry. So long and thank you for reading. As always, please tell me why I suck and why I'm wrong.
(Or just comment in a civil tone; thanks either way)