The Denver Broncos offense needed a lot of changes this off-season, most importantly at quarterback and tackle. The franchise wasted no time, making several big moves in free agency and completing the first phase of their rebuild at the 2018 NFL Draft.
Did they fulfil all their needs? Let’s see.
They included a new starting quarterback, a new right tackle, a wide receiver duo still worthy of praise, and a balanced and younger backfield.
Yes, it seems.
Sure it sounds fantastic now, but we need to remember we’re not likely to be any closer to knowing how the Broncos have improved until training camp in July. There are the injuries that will be sustained, the rookies struggling to develop, the veterans who perhaps might not have been worth their hefty price tags.
“We got better on the offensive side, no question. There were some areas that we needed some players, and so we’re really excited.”
Now’s the time to break down the offense that will hopefully lead to a turnaround for the Super Bowl 50 champs.
How the Denver Broncos Offense Has Improved This Off-Season
Quarterback – Case Keenum
It’s no secret that Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch were not the dream trio Denver had hoped for. This season, hope lies in the $36 million free agent pickup Case Keenum. Adding a little substance is Chad Kelly, who, in his second year will compete with Lynch to play backup. With Lynch showing few signs of improvement in 2017, Kelly possesses better tools and would be a better match for Keenum.
Running Back – Devontae Booker
Despite the groans of exasperation echoing through Broncos Country, Devontae Booker is the presumed starter heading into camp. Third-round selection Royce Freeman could add something extra. Together, Freeman, Booker, De’Angelo Henderson, seventh-round pick David Williams and undrafted free agent Phillip Lindsay could finally be the run game Denver desperately needs.
Fullback – Andy Janovich
Andy Janovich is a valuable special teams contributor and a solid blocker. He’s a fan favorite, but even then, his place on the team is shaky – the Broncos may decide against having a dedicated fullback and instead favor another spot on the roster for a running back.
Wide Receiver – Demaryius Thomas
The Broncos felt hitting Demaryius Thomas’ salary cap figure of $12.03 million was worth the investment. With steady quarterback play – and rookies Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton – Thomas is expected to have a less ‘boring’ year. Meanwhile, Carlos Henderson is expected to be a reliable WR3.
Wide Receiver – Emmanuel Sanders
There’s speculation that it could be his final season in orange and blue, according to Kelberman. But for now, it’s widely believed that Hamilton will be Emmanuel Sanders’ successor. Whatever the case, the once formidable duo of Thomas and Sanders is expected to produce more with Keenum at the helm.
Tight End – Jake Butt
With his torn ACL behind him, Jake Butt is hungry for action on the field, and he’ll probably get that, being cautiously penciled in as starting tight end. The situation with rookie Troy Fumagalli is simple – he should get some reps. However, making a decision between Austin Traylor and Jeff Heuerman will be quite a conundrum.
Left Tackle – Garett Bolles
2017 was a year packed with questions over Garett Bolles’ technique and his knack for racking up penalties. But there’s no disputing his tough, hit-em-hard way of keeping some of the league’s strongest defenders at bay. Together with guard Ronald Leary, the situation is likely to improve this year.
Left Guard – Ronald Leary
Ronald Leary had a brief stint at right guard, and it was hindered with injuries. If he’s healthier this season, he could return to being one of Denver best offensive linemen.
Center – Matt Paradis
The restricted free agent hasn’t missed a single snap in three seasons, so it was only right for the franchise to slap a second-round tender on Matt Paradis. We could be looking at a long-term extension for this center.
Right Guard – Connor McGovern
The uncertainty at this position has plagued Denver for some time. The offensive line seems reinvigorated after last year’s disappointing unit – and even though Connor McGovern is a favorite, he will have plenty of challengers in the form of Menelik Watson, Max Garcia, Billy Turner, and even rookie Sam Jones.
Right Tackle – Jared Veldheer
This position was a blatant need, after quarterback. Denver acquired the possible top-20 tackle from the Cardinals for a late-round pick. It’s easy to see he seems to be a substantial improvement over Donald Stephenson and Watson.
At first glance, this is definitely an improved offense. And with this fresh look (and before reality kicks in), outside linebacker and ‘star’ of the Broncos Von Miller, can’t wait to get going. “All we have to do now is get the wins.”