Denver Broncos Projected Starters Are Clearer

Denver Broncos projected starters are somewhat clearer now that general manager George Paton has repaired some gaping holes in key positions. Denver’s roster looks promising. just a week ago, the uncertainty at certain positions was palpable.

Denver Broncos Roster Looks Good, Projected Starters Clearer

Paton’s free agency philosophy is a wise one. “You don’t want to build your team in free agency. You want to fill selective needs going into the draft. That has been my philosophy. You don’t always want to be the first one out of the gate and throw all your money… you have to be selective.”

The first wave of free agency aligned with Paton’s philosophy. He made a smart move re-signing one of the best safeties in the game Justin Simmons, and defensive end Shelby Harris. Fans were relieved to hear that outside linebacker Von Miller’s team option was picked up. Cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller, and running back Mike Boone were good additions.

With defense needing an overhaul, Paton has expressed his desire to wait for the draft “for good young players that fit [Broncos] culture and fit the scheme.” With all that’s been done and said thus far, we can make an educated guess at the Denver Broncos projected starters.

Quarterback – Drew Lock

It’s no secret that Paton and Vic Fangio plan to keep the door open for quarterbacks. Paton said, “We like Drew Lock. We have a plan in place and there’s free agency, there’s the draft, there’s trades, there’s a lot of ways to acquire a quarterback… We do want to bring in competition.” As confirmed by Broncos beat reporter Aric DiLalla, Paton will attend pro days to evaluate prospects.

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Wide Receiver – Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton

Tim Patrick should be mentioned here, with the Broncos placing a second-round tender on him. He led the team in receiving touchdowns. If another team wants him, Denver will have the opportunity to match the contract or receive a second-round compensatory pick. Whatever happens, the receivers are the team’s deepest position group. With Sutton, Jeudy, KJ Hamler and Patrick, plus three other receivers, Denver is set.

Running Back – Melvin Gordon III

With Phillip Lindsay moving on, and Mike Boone signing in, Gordon’s time is now. Boone has a unique profile as a special teams guy with talent at running back. He didn’t get much of a chance to show his talent with the Minnesota Vikings. He could add to Gordon’s efforts with pass protection and pass-catching.

Tight End – Noah Fant

Fant, Nick Vannett and Albert Okwuegbunam are the best options – just as they were last season. Denver is likely to draft a tight end as Jake Butt and Jake Fumagalli become free agents.

Outside Linebacker – Von Miller, Bradley Chubb

With Miller option being picked up and Chubb being a strong performer, Denver has no demand here. Miller’s pass-rushing abilities are still superior despite his injuries. Just like other great pass rushers, he’s expected to do his thing well into his 30s. In their first season, Miller and Chubb posted a combined 26.5 sacks. 2021 could be another year of top-tier play from this duo.

Inside Linebacker – Josey Jewell, Alexander Johnson

Along with Jewell and Johnson, Justin Strnad will offer significant coverage as a nickel linebacker. The Broncos needs more depth pieces, and Micah Parsons (Penn State) would be an excellent addition if still available for Denver with their ninth-overall pick.

Cornerback – Bryce Callahan, Ronald Darby, Kyle Fuller

Denver was a flurry with this position. Darby has pure coverage skills and he’s third in the NFL in pass deflections. Fuller excelled under Fangio while with the Chicago Bears. Callahan is a dynamic slot player. The Broncos can afford to be flexible now.

Safety – Justin Simmons, ???

The position has the biggest question mark hanging over it. While they didn’t exercise Kareem Jackson’s team option, his return has not been ruled out. Simmons will be at Denver for four more years, but Paton knows it’s a priority to lock in one more. Trevon Moehrig (TCU) is the best safety prospect and would be an ideal addition.

With the official league year just beginning, there is already an air of relief at filling so many gaps. Denver has many opportunities to make the right moves, and we shall soon find out what moves those are.

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