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Ranking the Denver Broncos' top five positions of need

Ken Pomponio Avatar
March 29, 2016


Hard to believe but we’re almost a month into free agency and only a month away from the NFL Draft.

And this rough midway point presents the perfect opportunity to assess the Denver Broncos’ depth chart and rank the team’s current areas of need as the calendar flips to April. (Spoiler alert: The Orange & Blue’s most glaring need only happens to be at the NFL’s most important position.)

In any case, here’s one armchair analyst’s top five:


Who woulda thunk that a little more than six weeks after Super Bowl 50, the defending champs would be sitting here with Mark Sanchez atop the depth chart? Still, John Elway himself has publicly acknowledged that the trade for Sanchez is only the “first step,” and with intriguing but obviously unproven, second-year Trevor Siemian the only other QB on the roster, look for Denver to bring in another veteran addition and/or use a high draft pick to step up the competition in the arms race.

Inside linebacker

The Broncos still have rock-solid starter, Brandon Marshall – a tendered restricted free-agent who’s hoping for (and deserves) a long-term deal – and have confidence in two-year backups/fill-in starters Todd Davis and Corey Nelson, but help/depth obviously is needed here with Danny Trevathan, the team’s leading tackler two out of the last three years, signing with former coach John Fox and the Bears.

Defensive end

The Broncos wanted to retain stud Malik Jackson, but the Jaguars simply were offering too much and after nabbing a ring, Jackson decided to cash in. Good for him. That, however, leaves a gaping hole on one side of the D-line. Vance Walker, a backup last season, and the promising but injury-addled Kenny Anunike are top prospects to step up and step in, but two of the Broncos’ first draft prospect visitors were defensive ends, revealing much about the team’s own perception of need here.


T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart are underrated top-line starters, but depth is the big concern on the back end of the No Fly Zone with Ward and Stewart having missed a combined five starts last season due to injury. Since then, one top backup (David Bruton) has left via free agency, and the other (Omar Bolden) is visiting with – surprise! – the Bears this week. With Shiloh Keo also an unrestricted free agent, that leaves Josh Bush and Ryan Murphy – who was last seen getting sent home from the Super Bowl – as the top reserves.

Running back

It’s a virtual toss-up with tight end, but being the more physically demanding position, RB gets the nod. After splitting time with current UFA Ronnie Hillman the past two seasons, C.J. Anderson is being counted on as the clear No. 1 back this coming season, but the depth chart behind him is filled with players who either have injury issues (Juwan Thompson) or are unproven commodities (Kapri Bibbs, Cyrus Gray).

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