And so, the Broncos 53-man roster has been set. So what to make of the Broncos’ decisions about who to keep and who to cut? I’ve got 10 points for you to ponder.
1. Montee Ball may have made the final cut but he’s still on a short leash. Either he’s going to have to get it together like Knowshon Moreno did a couple of years ago or he won’t be so lucky in 2016 — and he may not even be around for training camp then. With that said, teams will always have needs during the season, so he could still be traded to a RB-needy team during the season.
2. Steven Johnson gone and Lerentee McCray still around? Those are the two real surprises. Johnson isn’t going to be out of work for long. McCray, meanwhile, has to get healthy, because there is no sense in keeping him around once Derek Wolfe returns from suspension.
3. Another dude who won’t be out of work for long is Tony Carter. He’s been good at times, he’s been frustrating at times, but he’s got the talent to help somebody needing cornerback depth. It just happened that the Broncos were that deep at the position.
4. Best wishes to Ben Garland, who became the odd man out after the Broncos signed Evan Mathis. Interestingly, Gary Kubiak had indcated previously he preferred to keep eight offensive linemen, but the Broncos are sticking with Shelley Smith… for now, anyway.
5. Curtis Marsh and Josh Bush are both in the race for “which one of us really made the final cut and which one of us is just keeping T.J. Ward’s seat warm?” You have one game to prove yourself, gentlemen.
6. The streak of a rookie UDFA making the Broncos’ 53-man roster is officially over. But, hey, it’s still nice to see guys like Kenny Anunike, Shaquil Barrett and Bennie Fowler prove their worthiness. The Broncos are still doing a good job finding those hidden gems.
7. Consider how many teams cut veteran quarterbacks and now you know why there was no chance for the Broncos to slip Trevor Siemian onto the practice squad. Deal with the fact you must keep three QBs or watch somebody snatch up Siemian, such as the Bills, the Jets, the Eagles or… gulp… the Raiders, who are reportedly going to cut Christian Ponder.
8. If the Broncos pick anybody up in the next couple of days, tight end is the most likely position. Because there’s no way they would have kept just two tight ends and a TE/FB hybrid had Jeff Heuerman not been lost for the season to injury.
9. Looks like it’s going to be Emmanuel Sanders returning punts, unless Jordan Norwood can clean things up. In a perfect world, the Broncos would have their punt and kick return specialist, but alas, there’s never going to be a perfect world.
10. As for who makes the Broncos practice squad, here’s my somewhat-educated guess:
RB: Kapri Bibbs
WR: Jordan Taylor
OT: Kyle Roberts
G/C: Dillon Day
NT: Chuka Ndulue
ILB: Zaire Anderson
OLB: Gerald Rivers
CB: Taurean Nixon
S: Josh Furman
The 10th position will likely be a tight end. Perhaps the Broncos give Dan Light a call, unless they claim a young player elsewhere.