State Of The Denver Broncos: Reviewing The Offense

Free agency left the Broncos with a number of question marks when it comes to the state of their roster. In this story, Khalid Alshami takes a look at the state of the roster, starting with the offensive side of the football.

Quarterback

The Broncos currently have two QBs under contract for the 2016 season — Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian. In a perfect world, Sanchez profiles as a veteran backup and Siemian profiles as a developmental practice squad player. If the season started today, Sanchez would be the team’a starter and Siemian the backup.

While many remain skeptical about the trade for Sanchez, the Broncos should be confident in whatever role he plays. If Sanchez is the starter and if he played at his career standard of play, he would still be better than what Denver had on the field last season.

The issue here is with Siemian as the backup currently. If that proves to be the case after the preseason, the Broncos could be in trouble. Siemian has some tools that the coaching staff likes, but he is not close to being ready to contribute on the field, even as a backup.

Denver will be looking to add at least two more signal callers to the roster prior to training camp. Look for the team to add a veteran in free agency, a rookie in the draft and another player as an undrafted free agent potentially.

Running Back

This situation is a lot clearer. C.J. Anderson is the starter after signing a new four-year deal. Denver will ask Anderson to carry a heavier workload than he has ever had thus far in his football career and will expect to see him enter offseason workouts in the best shape of his career.

Behind Anderson, the team has Juwan Thompson, Kapri Bibbs, and Cyrus Gray. Thompson is a fan favorite but struggles to stay healthy and is more of a straight, downhill runner.

The team is high on Bibbs but need to see him put it all together for him to earn a roster spot and a role in the backfield. Special teams acumen will be key.

Gray is a wildcard here as a player signed to a reserve/futures deal. He has talent and is a friend and teammate of Von Miller but will still have an uphill battle to make the roster.

Of the current backs on the roster, there is not a realistic backup to Anderson, or one who could be counted on to compliment the starter consistently well. 

The Broncos still have interest in Arian Foster, who could be added closer to training camp if Denver is comfortable with his health. Many also expect Denver to draft a RB and add another via UDFA.

Fullback

There is no fullback currently on the Broncos roster — an issue moving forward — as the traditional Gary Kubiak west-coast-variant offense makes use of the position extensively. The Broncos scrapped the FB position to make use of Peyton Manning's preferences. Denver will likely look to add two players at this position to find a starter.

Wide Receiver

After re-signing Jordan Norwood, the Broncos return a deep receiver group,  with Bennie Fowler and Cody Latimer set to make big jumps in their third year with the team. Emmanuel Sanders is still the same playmaker and a top priority for the team to reach an extension with.

Demaryius Thomas went through a very tumultuous season with the issues at QB, battling injury for most of the season and struggled after his mother’s release from prison. He will have a bounce-back year.

The talk surrounding Thomas is laughable. No, he will not be traded. The contract given to him was not a mistake. In a down year, Thomas had 105 receptions, 1,304 yards and six touchdowns.

The Broncos also have one of last year's camp darlings, Jordan Taylor, waiting in the wings, along with a former Kubiak Houston draft pick in DeVier Posey. There will be competition. 

I’m gonna throw this player out there for Bronco fans — Max McCaffrey, the older brother of Heisman Trophy runner up Christian, and son of Ed McCaffrey. Max had a quiet career at Duke and profiles as a day-three selection or priority college free agent. His connection to Denver could lead him to Dove Valley.

Tight End

After releasing Owen Daniels, the Broncos are counting on Jeff Heuerman to return to the team healthy and potentially become the starter — a lot to expect of a player who wasn’t asked to block much in college. Heuerman's rookie 2015 season was lost, after a freak ACL tear during rookie mini-camp.

Virgil Green may see a increased offensive role, but will still be the blocking tight end. The Broncos also have Nick Kasa returning from the practice squad and Richard Gordon, who spent time on the roster last season. And a futures player in Manesseh Garner.

This is another position group that will see some additions. The Broncos haven’t ruled out re-signing Daniels on a cheaper deal, but will look to add an impact player through the draft.

Offensive Line

After signing two tackles in free agency, the offensive line enters the draft with fewer question marks. The Broncos cut guard Louis Vasquez, who didn't fit the scheme and allowed the aging Evan Mathis to sign with Arizona.

Ryan Clady stuck to his numbers (contract-wise) regarding his worth, so John Elway signed Pro Bowler Russell Okung to start at left tackle and is now looking to move Clady, who has no shortage of potential suitors.

Max Garcia is expected to start at one guard position, while Ty Sambrailo will be moving inside to man the other position, with Matt Paradis playing in between.

Donald Stephenson — the team's other free agent signing — will be the starter at RT. Sam Brenner and Robert Myers provide depth inside, while Michael Schofield could end up as the swing tackle or could move inside.

The Broncos also have some developmental players in center Dillon Day and tackles Kyle Roberts, who was with the Broncos last training camp, and Darrion Weems.

The offensive line group in the upcoming draft is considered to be deep. The Broncos will look to add more O-line talent in the draft.

The Broncos are better off on offense as the roster currently stands than they were in 2015 when they won a Super Bowl. That should be encouraging for fans still mourning over the loss of Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler.

Note: Khalid and Erick Trickel collaborated on this series. You can find Erick on Twitter @Alaskan_Bronco.

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Khalid Alshami is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @KhalidHAlshami. And be sure to like MileHighHuddle on Facebook

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