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Predicting the Broncos’ final 53-man roster and practice squad

DENVER — With the offseason, training camp and preseason complete, building the roster is the only thing that stands between the Broncos and the regular season.

By Saturday at 2:00 pm in the Mile High City, John Elway, Matt Russell and Vic Fangio will have to submit their final 53-man roster.

As they go through the brutal process of cutting over 30 players, it’s important to remember a few specifics in roster building.

First, for a player to go on IR and come back mid-way through the season, that player has to make the initial 53-man roster. This prediction takes that into account.

Second, this prediction is the initial roster. The Broncos could, and very likely will, add a player or two after over 1,000 players are officially cut around the league on Saturday afternoon. This prediction does not include any additional roster moves.

Without further ado, here’s how we envision the Broncos final 53-man roster to look come Saturday at 2:00 pm.



  • Joe Flacco
  • Drew Lock
  • Kevin Hogan

The Broncos are forced to carry three quarterbacks as they can’t afford Lock to sit on the bench during practice all season.


  • Phillip Lindsay
  • Royce Freeman
  • Devontae Booker
  • Theo Riddick
  • Andy Janovich

Riddick and Janovich’s injuries leave no wiggle room for John Elway in the backfield. Denver will be without a true fullback until Jano’s healthy.


  • Emmanuel Sanders
  • Courtland Sutton
  • DaeSean Hamilton
  • Juwann Winfree
  • Tim Patrick
  • River Cracraft

Fortunately for Cracraft, the Broncos were desperate for a returner. He gets the final receiver spot to handle the return duties.


  • Noah Fant
  • Jeff Heuerman
  • Troy Fumagalli
  • Jake Butt

Jake Butt’s most recent, albeit minor, knee procedure lands him on IR, but the Broncos want the option to bring him back midseason, so he makes the initial 53.


  • Garett Bolles
  • Dalton Risner
  • Connor McGovern
  • Ron Leary
  • Ja’Wuan James
  • Elijah Wilkinson
  • Don Barclay
  • Austin Schlottmann
  • Sam Jones

Behind Wilkinson, the Broncos’ depth on the offensive line is shaky. But a team can’t carry just one backup offensive lineman.

Defense (23)


  • Derek Wolfe
  • Shelby Harris
  • Adam Gotsis
  • Dre’Mont Jones
  • DeMarcus Walker
  • Mike Purcell

Zach Kerr’s release earlier in the week opened the door for Mike Purcell and DeShawn Williams. Purcell just narrowly edges out Williams for the team’s final spot on the defensive line.


  • Todd Davis
  • Josey Jewell
  • Joe Jones
  • Alexander Johnson
  • Jamal Carter/Josh Watson
    • While we agreed on almost everything, Ryan believes the final backer spot will be Carter, while Zac gives the nod to Watson.

Alexander Johnson slowly jogged away from the rest of the competition at inside backer over the past few weeks, locking him into a spot.


  • Von Miller
  • Bradley Chubb
  • Justin Hollins
  • Malik Reed

After Thursday’s final preseason game, Fangio admitted Reed’s locked up a roster spot.


  • Chris Harris Jr.
  • Bryce Callahan
  • Isaac Yiadom
  • De’Vante Bausby

The Broncos feel great about their top four cornerbacks, but that’s it.


  • Kareem Jackson
  • Justin Simmons
  • Will Parks
  • Su’a Cravens

Su’a Cravens hangs on another year behind a talented group ahead of him.

Special teams (3)


  • Brandon McManus


  • Colby Wadman


  • Casey Kreiter


  • QB Brett Rypien
  • OL Jake Brendel
  • WR Fred Brown
  • WR Kelvin McKnight
  • RB Khalfani Muhammad
  • FB George Aston
  • ILB Josh Watson/ILB Jamal Carter
  • DL DeShawn Williams
  • CB Alijah Holder
  • S Dymonte Thomas


  • OL Nico Falah
  • TE Austin Fort
  • TE Bug Howard
  • CB Horace Richardson
  • DL Billy Winn

CUT (24)

  • S Trey Marshall
    • Don’t be surprised to see Marshall come back to the 53-man roster after the team designates a player or two to IR
  • OL Jake Rodgers
  • CB Trey Johnson
  • CB Linden Stephens
  • ILB Keishawn Bierria
  • ILB Joe Dineen
  • RB Devontae Jackson
  • OT John Leglue
  • WR Trinity Benson
  • WR Steven Dunbar Jr.
  • C Ryan Crozier
  • CB Rashard Causey
  • DL Deyon Sizer
  • OL Adam Bisnowaty
  • OL Chaz Green
  • OL Tyler Jones
  • OLB Ahmad Gooden
  • OLB Dadi Nicolas
  • RB Dave Williams
  • S Shamarko Thomas
  • OL Quinn Bailey
  • TE/FB Orson Charles
  • TE Moral Stephens
  • WR Brendan Langley


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