A look back at 2016 Roster Cuts

For fun, and to gain perspective, I thought I’d look back at the Broncos training camp cuts with two years of hindsight. Like every year, roster cut downs were a contentious topic, with fan favorites who emerged with strong performances in the preseason who didn’t make the cut.

I went back to our predict the roster competition, and listed everyone who received votes at some point along the way, yet who didn’t make the team. I listed the final # of votes each player received in the final round of voting, shortly before the 4th preseason game (IE 10 of 12 participants thought Sanchez would make the team). I italicized players who made the practice squad, and bolded players who are still in the league

Here’s the In-ThinAir article with our initial 53 man roster, and our initial practice squad.

QB Mark Sanchez (10/12) – Backed up Dak Prescott in Dallas in 2016, Trubisky in Chicago in 2017. Very minimal playing time.

RB Ronnie Hillman (7/12) – 4 year vet. Had 41 carries for 131 yards (3.2 YPC) for SDG/MIN in 2016. Was in training camp for Dallas in 2017, but did not make team

RB Juwan Thompson (3/12) UDFA in 2014. Signed to initial PS and signed to active roster halfway through the year where he had 8 rushes and a TD. Cut after 2016 training camp.  Sat out all of 2017, briefly signed with Dallas this spring, currently out of Football

TE Garrett Graham (3/12) 6 year vet signed from Houston in March of 2016. Cut/placed on IR and out of football

TE Krieger Coble (2/12) UDFA in 2016. Signed to initial PS and resigned to active roster on December 23, 2016. 2017 was signed to Colts PS, called to active roster in October, and cut 3 weeks later. In camp with LA Rams currently.

TE Manasseh Garner (1/12) went undrafted in 2015 and bounced around the league. After being cut by the Broncos spent time with the Bills and Redskins but has only appeared in 1 NFL game.  He is currently in camp for the Redskins.

C Dillon Day (2/12) Signed to our initial PS, and has since bounced around the Broncos, Colts, and Packers PS and active roster. Has yet to appear in a game. Currently in camp with the Packers

C Aaron Neary (1/12) Signed to Eagles 2016 PS, and Rams 2017 PS. Started week 17 when Rams rested their starters. Currently with the Rams

DL Henry Melton (12/12) 7 year veteran Signed on August 21st. Cut and then retired.

LB Vontarious Dora (1/12) Signed to initial PS and called up to active roster on December 16th. Played 9 ST snaps against Oakland in week 17. Cut last year in training camp and spent time on Arizona/Indianapolis PS. Currently in Camp with the Cardinals.

DB Taurean Nixon (0/12) 2015 7th round draft picked, signed to initial PS. Called up by Denver to active roster for 2 weeks and then sent back down. Bounced around Jacksonville, Kansas City, Indianapolis, and LA, but hasn’t played since leaving Denver. Currently with the Rams

DB Brandian Ross (0/12) UDFA in 2011, bounced around the league but had 45 games of experience. Cut by Denver and that was the end of the road for him.

P Britton Colquitt (4/12) Cut for cap reasons and since we had drafted Riley Dixon. Signed by Cleveland, who in 2017 gave him a 4 year contract extension

Accomplished Vets Hillman, Colquitt, and Sanchez went on to find new homes. Colquitt has had success, but Hillman did not, and Sanchez didn’t contribute much on the field, although I believe teams enjoyed the leadership he provided.

Six of these players are still battling it out in camp somewhere, but for the most part, none have accomplished anything on the field. Juwan Thompson’s 8 carries and 1 TD (with Denver in 2016 after Jano went down), and Nixon’s 1 tackle (with Denver in 2016) are the only guys (besides the three vets mentioned above) who recorded a stat in an NFL game. None of the guys on the list above have been active for more than a single game anywhere outside of Denver.

Who knows what veterans Garrett Graham, Henry Melton, or Brandian Ross could have done something if the Broncos would have given them one more chance, but I doubt much.

Unfortunately, several of the players who did make the final roster haven’t done much either. None of the TEs on the 2016 roster ever stepped up. We never had a #3 WR emerge. Backup olineman James Ferentz and Darrion Weems weren’t any better than the lackluster starters in front of them. Neither Kilgo nor K. Peko ever panned out. Most of us don’t think Lorenzo Doss will make this year’s team after three lacking season. Dakoda Watson (the lore of that year’s camp) played all of 44 defensive snaps, even with Ware missing half the season. Shiloh Keo was cut a few weeks after returning from his suspension. I could go on.

Not sure what the takeaway of this is. I had fun looking back at this and seeing what happened to all those guys who at one point were hotly debated on here. I’ve always had fun with roster predictions, but I think looking back at these decisions is helpful for keeping perspective.

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Lifelong Broncos fan and current Engineer living and working in Denver.