Denver Broncos Pre-Training Camp 53-Man Roster Prediction

Broncos training camp kicks off a week from today. With that in mind, Erick Trickel makes his yearly pre-camp 53-man roster projection.

Quarterbacks (3)

1. Mark Sanchez
2. Trevor Siemian
3. Paxton Lynch (R)

Mark Sanchez currently holds the job. There is a chance for Siemian to take it from him, but there is a lot he is going to need to show improvement on. With how much he has to improve, it makes it hard for me to see the Broncos going with Siemian.

It also doesn’t help with how unproven he is. His preseason last year, while it looked solid, came against players that didn’t make rosters, and few even made practice squads, while Siemian had help from players who did make rosters, or practice squads.

From everything that I have heard, Lynch is looking at a redshirt year for his rookie season, unless he comes out and really shines in training camp.

Running Backs (3)

1. C.J. Anderson
2. Devontae Booker (R)
3. Ronnie Hillman

With his new deal, Anderson is getting a good shot to really take the starting gig by the horns. Rookie Booker will be competing for the backup spot with Ronnie Hillman. Both of them seem to be far ahead of Kapri Bibbs, who doesn’t make the roster due to numbers game.

Fullbacks (1)

1. Andy Janovich (R)

The Broncos are looking at Juwan Thompson here, but Janovich was drafted to be the fullback. He will get the first shot and its hard to see him lose it to a running back pretending to be a fullback.

Wide Receivers (6)

1. Demaryius Thomas
2. Emmanuel Sanders
3. Jordan Norwood
4. Bennie Fowler
5. Cody Latimer
6. Jordan Taylor

Not much surprise here at receiver. The top two are no-brainers. Sanders has outplayed his deal, which is up after this year, and is looking for an extension.Thomas had a good year in an anemic offense, proving his value.

Norwood is a true slot receiver, and the only one they have besides Sanders. Some of the undrafted guys they brought in can compete for the job, as well as returner, but it's hard to see Norwood losing either of those.

Fowler and Latimer will compete for the fourth and fifth spot, but what it comes down to is Fowler has been a surprise, while Latimer has been a let down and hasn’t lived up to the second round pick he was.

Finally there is Sunshine. He nearly made the roster as a rookie, but only got beat out due to the experience of Andre Caldwell. Sunshine also has been talked about as getting looks as a returner.

Tight Ends (4)

1. Jeff Heuerman
2. Virgil Green
3. Garrett Graham
4. Henry Krieger-Coble (R)

There isn’t much room here for the Broncos, unless they look to bring in help in later on down the road. They have placed a lot of faith in Heuerman, who will be playing his first year after spending his rookie season on injured reserve.

Green has never been able to crack a major role on offense, outside of being the top blocking tight end. Behind those two sits veteran Graham, who has spent time with Gary Kubiak in Houston.

Undrafted rookie Krieger-Coble has been turning a lot of heads, and as long as he keeps doing that, he will make this roster.

Offensive Tackles (3)

1. Russell Okung
2. Donald Stephenson
3. Michael Schofield

Nothing really worth noting here. Okung and Stephenson are set to be your starters. Schofield, who had a rough season a year ago, earned some experience and has put in a lot of work to improve his technique. He will stay as the primary backup.

Offensive Guards (3)

1. Max Garcia
2. Ty Sambrailo
3. Connor McGovern (R)

Guard is similar to what is going on at tackle. There are a top three, then everyone else. Plenty of position versatility with the guards and tackles. Garcia and Sambrailo end up as the starters, partially due to their experience, while the rookie is their backup.

Centers (2)

1. Matt Paradis
2. James Ferentz

The only returning full time starter from a year ago, once again mans his spot at center. Paradis was the best offensive linemen for Denver in 2015. Behind him sits Ferentz, whom the coaching staff is really high on.

Defensive Ends (4)

1. Derek Wolfe
2. Vance Walker
3. Jared Crick
4. Adam Gotsis (R)

Walker and Wolfe man the starting positions, unless Gotsis can get healthy and up to speed sooner rather than later. Crick will be the third guy in the rotation, unless Gotsis takes over the starting spot from Walker.

Unfortunately, the numbers game and his history with injuries, leaves Kenny Anunike off the roster, but he was No. 54 of the 53.

Nose Tackles (2)

1. Sylvester Williams
2. Phil Taylor

Even though Darius Kilgo played well early last year as a rookie, he soon disappeared and started seeing little-to-no action. Williams and Taylor are both more than capable of handling the job at nose tackle, which makes Kilgo expendable.

Outside Linebackers (4)

1. Von Miller
2. Shaquil Barrett
3. DeMarcus Ware
4. Shane Ray

Nothing comes as a surprise here. Miller is one starter, with Barrett and Ray competing for the other starting job. Ware is taking a step back and playing in a reduced role to try and keep him healthy for the season.

Inside linebackers (4)

1. Brandon Marshall
2. Todd Davis
3. Corey Nelson
4. Zaire Anderson

Anderson makes the squad to fill out the linebacker corps. Marshall, of course, is one starter with Davis winning the other starting spot.

Nelson I can see coming close, but landing as the No. 3 inside linebacker and see a good amount of action during the season.

Cornerbacks (5)

1. Aqib Talib
2. Chris Harris, Jr.
3. Bradley Roby
4. Kayvon Webster
5. Lorenzo Doss

The corners for the Broncos are pretty obvious, especially the top four. Talib, Harris, Roby and Webster are very obviously the top four guys. There is a battle for the fifth spot, but from what I have heard, Doss has a leg up on the rest of the competitors for the spot.

Safeties (5)

1. T.J. Ward
2. Darian Stewart
3. Justin Simmons (R)
4. Shiloh Keo
5. Will Parks (R)

The numbers are also pretty much set at safety. The main competition here comes between Simmons, Keo and Parks for the three depth slots behind Ward and Stewart. The most important one will be who the No. 3 safety is.

Long Snapper/Kicker/Punter (1 each)

1. Nathan Theus (LS)
1. Brandon McManus (K)
1. Riley Dixon (R) (P)

I only see competition at long snapper and punter. Dixon beats out the more expensive Britton Colquitt. Theus also beats out Casey Kreiter for the long-snapper job.

Conclusion

This projection accounts for 52 roster spots, leaving one slot open that could go towards Kenny Anunike, if they choose to carry a fifth defensive end, or Darius Kilgo, if they want a third nose tackle.

The open spot also creates an opportunity for one of the options they have as a return specialist, though they want those guys to play receiver as well.

Bralon Addison, Mose Frazier and Kalif Raymond are all options at returner, if the Broncos so choose to go that route, but they would have to clearly beat out Jordan Norwood.

Erick Trickel in an Analyst for MileHighHuddle. You can find him on Twitter @Trickel_MHH. And be sure to like MileHighHuddle on Facebook

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