After a coaching change and some big acquisitions made this offseason, specifically via trade, the Broncos have a much-improved roster. Although the AFC West is highly competitive, Denver’s new and improved team should be able to compete and potentially make their first playoff appearance since 2015.
Below, we will break down the Broncos’ roster by position group.
QB: Russell Wilson, Josh Johnson, Brett Rypien
Explanation: As a team that has struggled to find a franchise QB since Peyton Manning retired, Denver decided to get active in the growing popularity of the QB trade market, by making a move for Russell Wilson. Wilson has been a great NFL QB for years and is ready to elevate Denver’s offense. Josh Johnson played well in relief on two different teams last year, while Brett Rypien has performed when needed too.
RB: Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon III, Mike Boone, Damarea Crockett, Tyreik McAllister
Explanation: This is a talented group led by the duo of Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon. Both Williams and Gordon garnered many touches last season, as both fell just short of 1,000 rushing yards, but eclipsed over 1,000 all-purpose. The duo is the perfect addition to Wilson in the backfield.
WR: Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Seth Williams, Kendall Hinton, Travis Fulgham, Tyrie Cleveland, Montrell Washington, Jalen Virgil, Brandon Johnson, Trey Quinn, Kaden Davis
Explanation: The WR group is one that was highly invested in as weapons for the past QBs on the roster, as it features multiple day one and two draft selections. That said, the group has not been able to stay healthy and play together, which is why their grade is not higher. If the group can stay healthy, they will be very successful, especially with the new QB in town.
TE: Albert Okwuegbunam, Greg Dulcich, Eric Tomlinson, Eric Saubert, Dylan Parham, Rodney Williams
Explanation: This position is one that got a bit weaker after the 2021 season, as Denver traded Noah Fant as a key piece of the Wilson trade. That said, Denver has a very athletic group with a lot of receiving potential between Albert Okwuegbunam and third-round pick Greg Dulcich. They are unproven but can improve their grade based on their performance.
OL: Garrett Bolles, Dalton Risner, Lloyd Cushenberry III, Quinn Meinerz, Billy Turner, Graham Glasgow, Ben Braden, Netane Muti, Tom Compton, Calvin Anderson, Quinn Bailey, Zack Johnson, Luke Wattenberg, Michael Niese, Casey Tucker
Explanation: The left side of the OL is strong between veterans Garrett Bolles and Dalton Risner, who have been good for multiple years. Lloyd Cushenberry struggled as a rookie but improved last year. Similarly, last season, Quinn Meinerz played well in stretches as a rookie. Billy Turner was a useful swing tackle for Green Bay last year but will need to prove to be effective in a full-time role. The group relies on improvement from some young players and the starters will need to stay healthy, as the depth, especially at tackle, is not too strong.
DL: Bradley Chubb, Randy Gregory, Dre’Mont Jones, Mike Purcell, D.J. Jones, Nik Bonitto, Malik Reed, McTelvin Agim, Eyioma Uwazurike, Baron Browning, Aaron Patrick, Marquiss Spencer, Matt Henningsen, Jonathan Harris, Christopher Allen, Jonathan Kongbo
Explanation: Led by a group of talented edge rushers, Denver will have no shortage of players to get after the QB. Bradley Chubb will need to finally stay healthy to reach his potential, while the addition of Randy Gregory in FA will only help the group. The young players of Nik Bonitto, Malik Reed, and Baron Browning will also add some needed depth of rushers. On the interior, the signing of D.J. Jones was an excellent signing, as Mike Purcell and Dre’Mont Jones will need to improve their play for the unit to be great.
LB: Josey Jewell, Jonas Griffith, Alex Singleton, Justin Strnad, Gaddafi Wright, Barrington Wade, Kana’i Mauga
Explanation: The LB position is likely the team’s weakest group, as it was surprising the Broncos did not improve at this position during the offseason. Josey Jewell has played well but has not been consistently healthy, Griffith is young and unproven, while Singleton and Strnad have both struggled in the past. Jewell should have success moving forward but is not strong enough to make up for weaknesses in the rest of the group.
CB: Patrick Surtain III, K’Waun Williams, Ronald Darby, Michael Ojemudia, Bless Austin, Damarri Mathis, Donnie Lewis Jr, Ja’Quan McMillian, Essang Bassey, Faion Hicks
Explanation: Patrick Surtain III played very well as a rookie and will be looking to take the next step to stardom in 2022. Outside of Surtain, Darby has been able to get the job done, while newly acquired K’Waun Williams will need to prove he can be a full-time starter. While the group has potential, it is a bit thin and will need to perform well to improve their grade.
S: Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, Caden Sterns, PJ Locke, JR Reed, Delarrin Turner-Yell, Jamar Johnson
Explanation: Kareem Jackson is aging and did not play his best ball last season, but between Jackson and former Pro-Bowler Simmons, they form one of the better safety duos in the whole league.