Denver Broncos Camp Week 2: Risers & Fallers

There have been a few more days of training camp since MHH’s last camp risers and fallers. What has changed since the last edition? Is a former faller now on the rise, or a riser now on falling? Erick Trickel examines.

Risers

Darion Weems, OT

The undrafted free agent from 2012 has been getting a lot of action early in training camp. A lot of that is due to injuries to others, but there is no question Weems has been really impressing the coaching staff. He is letting his performance speak for him, and it is demanding that he gets more and more looks. Right now it seems as if Weems is on his way to a backup spot on the 53 man roster.

Virgil Green, TE

I have been skeptical of Green as a receiver after having such high hopes his whole career and never seeing it pan out. However, this year his receiving in camp has been the star of the show when it comes to tight ends. As the top blocker in the group, if Green is able to really step up as a receiver, it means bad things for another tight end.

Cody Latimer, WR

It is time for Latimer to step up as a receiver, and he finally is. His first two years we saw little out of Latimer as a receiver, but he showed up on special teams. In year three he is at risk of getting cut, if he doesn’t step it up.

He really has risen to the occasion in practice, but the games will be the true test. In previous years, Latimer has shown up in camp only to disappear somewhat come game time. Hopefully the former second round pick is able to translate it fully to game time this time around.

Bennie Fowler, WR

After emerging last year, Fowler is stepping up in a big way and looks like the favorite to be the No. 3 receiver for the Broncos this season. He has been consistent in camp, and that consistency has come at a high level. The young player is really growing into something special for the Broncos.

Bradley Roby, CB

The third-year defensive back had a good year as the No. 3 corner, but his performance so far in camp is starter quality. If Roby didn’t have Chris Harris, Jr. or Aqib Talib in front of him, he would be cemented as a starter with how well he has played. After a good rookie year, and a great sophomore year, Roby is looking like this year will be another step forward, which would give the Broncos plenty of options after this upcoming season.

Zaire Anderson, ILB

The first-year linebacker (in his second season with Denver) is making plays in the run game left and right. While he does have a hard battle in front of him to become a starter, which is unlikely, he is showing he should make the 53-man roster. To cement himself he has to show up on special teams, so game time will be a great test for the young player who has really performed in practice.

Kalif Raymond, WR

Raymond is looking really good as a returner, but the coaching staff wants their returner to have an impact elsewhere, and Raymond is showing he can be that guy. He has one player in competition with him, but Raymond has really outshone him on offense. He has a good understanding of the offense and how to use his body to get separation, and not just rely on his speed.

The OLB Corps

Every single one of the Broncos outside linebackers has been shining in training camp so far, and that includes all of the undrafted guys. Von Miller has been impressive as he eases back into action.

DeMarcus Ware has been limited, but Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett have been outstanding, with Barrett looking to be the starter opposite Miller. Eddie Yarbrough, Sadat Sulleyman, Vontarrius Dora and Kyle Kragen have all made really good plays multiple times in practice.

With the top four cemented, the young guys are fighting for the practice squad, and it is going to be a tough battle. This is easily the deepest and strongest position group for the Broncos.

Fallers

Mark Sanchez, QB

Sanchez has been having a rough time against a tough defense. That helps ease some of the bad things he has done, because the defense is so good the quarterbacks are going to have struggles.

The issue is, Sanchez hasn’t had those moments of greatness like the other quarterbacks have. Sanchez is falling because the others are rising. Right now he is still the favorite to be the starter, but game time will be the true test for he and Trevor Siemian.

Ronnie Hillman, RB

Hillman suffered an injury and missed some time, but before that he wasn’t really standing out. He was brought back on a cheap deal that doesn’t guarantee him a roster spot, and his place with the team is slipping out of his grasp. Every other running back has looked really good, and staying healthy.

Ty Sambrailo, OL

The offensive lineman has been battling injuries, and having to deal with others rising while he sits out hurt. Sambrailo is at risk of losing his starting spot, and at risk of losing a primary backup spot. The former second round pick will make the roster, but how and where he fits in is in question. In order to stop his fall, he needs to get healthy and back out there on the field.

Jordan Norwood, WR

Norwood is losing his battles as a receiver. Fowler, Raymond, Latimer, and Jordan Taylor are all proving to be much better than Norwood on offense. As a returner, Norwood is doing slightly better than Raymond, but the edge is so slight that Raymond can easily overtake him. Raymond’s offensive ability more than covers the small gap. The veteran's roster prospects are looking bleak right now.

Shiloh Keo, S

The rookie Justin Simmons has been outstanding in practice and is separating himself from the rest of the pack for that No. 3 safety spot, which with Keo sitting at the No. 4 spot, doesn’t bode well for the veteran. Behind Keo is Brandian Ross, who is getting closer and closer to Keo. Keo isn’t performing badly, but he isn’t performing well either. He is falling because of how the others are doing.

Jeff Heuerman, TE

The second-year tight end was expected to be the main receiving tight end, but with Green being the better blocker and really shining as a receiver, it means bad things for Heuerman. He will still likely land as the No. 2 tight end, but he could see a more reduced role in the passing game if Green continues to be the star of the group.

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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