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Predicting the Broncos’ Final 53-man Roster: George Paton makes a trade before cut day

Zac Stevens Avatar
August 25, 2022

The Broncos have less than one week until they need to have their final 53-man roster.

By Aug. 30, George Paton and Nathaniel Hackett have to cut the Denver Broncos’ roster down from 80 players to the final 53-man roster.

There’s only one preseason game left to determine the final few roster spots. This is an idea of how Denver’s roster will look once it’s dwindled down to the final 53.

Offense (24)

Quarterback (2)

  • Russell Wilson
  • Josh Johnson
  • Brett Rypien

Rypien gave his best shot to take the backup job from Johnson in the second preseason game, going 22-of-26 for 191 yards and one touchdown. He’ll have one more shot at it as he’ll be the starter in the preseason finale. However, Rypien will have to blow the coaching staff away in the finale in order to win the backup job over Johnson.

Running Back (3)

  • Javonte Williams
  • Melvin Gordon
  • Mike Boone
  • JaQuan Hardy
  • Devine Ozigbo

There’s a massive gap between Denver’s top three backs and the rest. This is a position the Broncos can save a roster spot by only keeping three.

Wide Receiver (6)

  • Courtland Sutton
  • Jerry Jeudy
  • K.J. Hamler
  • Montrell Washington
  • Kendall Hinton
  • Brandon Johnson
  • Seth Williams
  • Tyrie Cleveland
  • Darris Shepherd
  • Jalen Virgil

There’s an argument to be made for nearly every receiver to make the roster. That’s why Paton will sign multiple receivers to the practice squad. Cleveland could sneak into the back of the roster if Dwayne Stukes pounds the table hard enough for him on special teams.

Tight End (5)

  • Albert Okwuegbunam
  • Greg Dulcich
  • Eric Tomlinson
  • Eric Saubert
  • Andrew Beck
  • Dylan Parham

With Dulcich suffering a setback from his hamstring injury, the Broncos will hang on to four traditional tight end and hybrid fullback/tight end Beck.

Offensive Line (8)

  • Garett Bolles
  • Dalton Risner
  • Lloyd Cushenberry
  • Quinn Meinerz
  • Billy Turner
  • Calvin Anderson
  • Netane Muti
  • Luke Wattenberg
  • TradeGraham Glasgow
  • Quinn Bailey
  • Cameron Fleming
  • Sebastian Gutierrez
  • Michael Niese
  • Zack Johnson

With the backup offensive lineman struggling against the Bills, it’s hard to imagine any of them gaining ground on the starters. The only shakeup here could be Glasgow getting dealt for a Day 3 pick to a team in need of interior offensive line help—Hello Tampa Bay. If Glasgow isn’t traded, he’ll make the 53-man roster.

Defense (26)

Defensive Line (6)

  • D.J. Jones
  • Dre’Mont Jones
  • DeShawn Williams
  • Eyioma Uwazurike
  • Matt Henningsen
  • Mike Purcell
  • Jonathan Harris
  • McTelvin Agim

Much like receiver, every defensive lineman has a shot to make the team. But after the second preseason game, Harris and Agim will need to have a big performance against the Vikings to earn a spot.

Outside Linebacker (5)

  • Bradley Chubb
  • Randy Gregory
  • Malik Reed
  • Baron Browning
  • Nik Bonitto
  • Jonathon Cooper
  • Jonathan Kongbo
  • Aaron Patrick

The final OLB group will largely depend on if Paton is able to trade one of the backups or not. If he is, Reed could be a prime candidate to be moved. If not, Cooper could be on the outside looking in.

Inside Linebacker (4)

  • Josey Jewell
  • Jonas Griffith
  • Alex Singleton
  • Justin Strnad
  • Jeremiah Gemmel
  • Kana’i Mauga

With the injury to Griffith, the Broncos will have to keep four inside backers on the roster for depth. None of the backups did themselves any favors against the Bills. This is a position Paton will look to add a player from another team after cut day.

Cornerback (6)

  • Pat Surtain
  • Ronald Darby
  • K’Waun Williams
  • Damarri Mathis
  • Michael Ojemudia
  • Faion Hicks
  • Bless Austin
  • Essang Bassey
  • Donnie Lewis Jr.
  • Ja’Wuan McMillian

The Broncos’ top four corners are locks. Outside of that, it’s wide open for the taking. Austin and Bassey could still jump into a roster spot.

Safety (5)

  • Justin Simmons
  • Kareem Jackson
  • P.J. Locke
  • Caden Sterns
  • Delarrin Turner-Yell
  • J.R. Reed

Reed can earn a spot on the team by proving himself too valuable on special teams to cut. The only issue is who does he replace at safety? Turner-Yell was one of the few impressive players on the defensive side against the Bills.

Special Teams (3)

  • Brandon McManus
  • Corliss Waitman
  • Jacob Bobenmoyer
  • Sam Martin

Waitman gave Martin a run for his money at punter during training camp. The fact he’s still on the team shows he has a chance to win the starting job. With a strong performance on Saturday, Waitman can do just that. If that happens, Denver could look to trade Martin for a conditional seventh-round pick.

Physically Unable to Perform

  • Tom Compton

Season-ending IR

  • Tim Patrick
  • Damarea Crockett
  • Christopher Allen
  • Tyreik McAllister

Practice Squad Candidates

  • Jonathon Cooper
  • Brett Rypien
  • Trey Quinn
  • Jalen Virgil
  • Marquiss Spencer
  • Tyrie Cleveland
  • Quinn Bailey
  • Ben Braden
  • McTelvin Agim
  • Jonathan Harris
  • Aaron Patrick
  • Barrington Wade
  • Bless Austin
  • Essang Bassey

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