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Expect changes on Broncos O-Line

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February 9, 2015

The Broncos did their best in 2014 trying to patch together an offensive line with minimal personnel change, that would be better than the unit that was clearly exposed in Super Bowl XLVIII. They may be taking a different direction this offseason.

With the addition of Gary Kubiak, Denver will likely return to the patented zone blocking scheme the team ran during the Mike Shanahan era. This scheme is typically ran with smaller, more athletic interior lineman and most of the players on the Broncos roster don’t fit that mold.

Former Broncos Guard and now ESPN Analyst Mark Schlereth had this to say about Denver’s current offensive line depth.

“Athletically speaking, they’re not good enough at left guard, center, and they need to find a right tackle,” Schlereth said. “They need to develop some young players … they’re not doing a good enough job drafting and developing at the position. The misnomer is you have to be lighter to play in the offense, all that baloney. Look, you need to have great feet, great hands, and you can play a long time in that offense. They need to find and develop those guys.”

Here’s John Elway’s draft history Schlereth eluded to.

2011 NFL Draft 

T – Orlando Franklin – 2nd Round, Pick 46

First lineman Elway ever drafted ended up being a four year starter for the team, but Franklin was highly criticized after last year’s Super Bowl and ended up switching from tackle to guard.

2012 NFL Draft 

C – Phillip Blake – 4th Round, Pick 108

Never played a game in Denver, now plays for the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes

2013 NFL Draft

T – Vinston Painter – 6th Round, Pick 173

Broncos practice squad member 2013-2014, now is on the Cleveland Browns roster.

2014 NFL Draft

G – Michael Schofield – 3rd Round, Pick 95

Hasn’t dressed for the team since being drafted.

C – Matt Paradis – 6th Round, Pick 207

At 6’1″ 301 Paradis might be the closest fit the Broncos currently have on their roster for a zone blocking interior lineman.

Not a great track record for Elway here, but he will certainly be looking for something different in his lineman this offseason than in years past. Ryan Clady will start at left tackle and Louis Vasquez will start somewhere. The rest will have to be filled by Elway and Kubiak.


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