So let us jump into the grades with the running backs.
The starter is very clearly Anderson at this point, but the performance of the rookie, Booker, has led to some questions as to whether "Book" can compete for the starting job at some point in the season. There is a big battle behind them for the No. 3 spot.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1681565-5-reasons-you-should-go-p... Expect the Broncos to only carry three running backs on the 53-man roster and that third spot comes down to Bibbs and Hillman. There is one huge issue worth noting—Bibbs has been seeing a lot of special teams action and Hillman has been getting next to none.
That third spot has to play special teams. On offense, Hillman has been doing well, but he has been getting outperformed by Bibbs, who displays a toughness that Hillman has rarely ever shown. The same held true in their game against the San Francisco 49ers. As for Thompson, he is looking like the odd man out.
1. Andy Janovich: 43.7
The only true fullback the Broncos have has had a difficult time adjusting to the NFL. His special teams play is really good, but he still has shown his role on offense is a work in progress.
1. Demaryius Thomas: 92.5
2. Emmanuel Sanders: 96.5
3. Bennie Fowler: N/A
4. Cody Latimer: 71.4
5. Jordan Taylor: 63.9
6. Jordan Norwood: 54.1
7. Kaliff Raymond: 32.7
8. DeVier Posey: 41.9
9. Bralon Addison: 29.8
10 Mose Frazier: 29.5
Thomas and Sanders played well in their time out on the field and showed they are the clear No. 1 and 2 receivers on this team. The one who has looked the most likely No. 3 receiver, Bennie Fowler, missed the game due to injury.
After him, there is bottleneck of about three receivers who could all land a roster spot. Fortunately, I think six of them will make the final 53-man roster.
Latimer and Taylor have been hot all training camp and have shown flashes in preseason. To round out the six is Norwood, who has a leg up on everyone else as a returner and can contribute on offense.
Both Raymond and Addison have had shots as a returner but look far behind Norwood. Posey is a casualty of the depth, despite having flashed some ability so far this preseason. Rounding out the group is Frazier, who looked really disappointing. The depth at receiver for the Broncos runs six deep.
I only see four tight ends making the roster, and Green sits at the top. His preseason has been outstanding and he looks like the pass-catching tight end many fans have believed he could be for years.
Behind Green is a mess that doesn’t look like it is going to be cleaned up any time soon. Heuerman missed the game with a hamstring injury, as did Graham. The best ability is availability and Graham hasn’t been available, which is why I don’t have him making the squad.
As for the final two tight ends to make it, Krieger-Coble has shown tremendous upside in all phases of the game, which makes it risky to try and get him on the practice squad. Meanwhile, Phillips has shown really good receiving ability to go with his above average blocking. Garner is looking like a practice squad candidate.
Missing the offensive line and quarterback grades? Make sure to check out my position specific grades for those two.
Between every offensive position, I have Denver keeping 26 total players. Leaving 27 for defense and special teams.
No grades for the special teams, just quick predictions. Kicker and long snapper are set with Brandon McManus and Casey Kreiter, respectively. The only special teams battle is at punter between Riley Dixon and Britton Colquitt.
From all reports the battle is close, which leaves me to believe that Dixon is making the squad, due to the salary cap implications of keeping Colquitt.
Those three leave Denver with 24 spots open on their 53-man roster to come from the defensive side of the ball. That's going to be hard to decide with their depth there. Make sure to check out the defensive grades to see just who makes it.
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