Predicting the Denver Broncos’ final 53-man roster ahead of training camp

June 6, 2022; Englewood, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) steps back to pass the ball during OTA practices at the UC Health training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Broncos training camp will officially begin on Wednesday, with fans in attendance as they begin to trim their roster to 53 players.

What will this final roster of 53 players look like? Who will be a surprise cut? Which undrafted free agent has the best chance of making the final roster? Let’s take a look at the answers to all of these questions, and more.

Denver Broncos attack

Russell Wilson leads his Broncos teammates in practice in May.  Credit: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports.
Russell Wilson leads his Broncos teammates in practice in May. Credit: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports.

Quarterback (2)

Do: Russell Wilson, Josh Johnson

Missing the cut: Brett Rypien

For the first time in a long time, there is absolutely no controversy surrounding the Denver Broncos quarterback. Russell Wilson will obviously be the starter, and Josh Johnson has clearly been named as the replacement. There’s an outside chance that Brett Rypien will push Johnson for the role, but that seems pretty unlikely, making it another year on Rypien’s practice squad.

Running back (3)

Do: Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon, Mike Boone

Missing the cut: Tyreik McAllister, Damarea Crockett

The running backs’ room now has a pretty clear stack, with Javonte Williams emerging as a star, Melvin Gordon nearing the end of his career but still a valuable weapon, and Mike Boone as a special teams ace and a piece of reliable depth.

Tyreik McAllister has an outside chance to make some noise in this room, given his top-notch brilliance — which none of Denver’s other fullbacks can match — paired with quality visual skills. These are two traits that are highly desired in the outside zone scheme that Nathaniel Hackett is looking to install.

Rear (1)

Do: Andre Beck

This is the only position on the roster outside of specialists where the Denver Broncos have only one player. With that in mind, Beck should be a lock for that spot on the roster because Hackett will be using a fullback, and Beck is the only one he has.

Tight end (3)*

Do: Albert Okwuegbunam, Greg Dulcich, Eric Saubert, Andrew Beck*

Missing the cut: Eric Tomlinson, Dylan Parham, Rodney Williams

Albert Okwuegbunam and Greg Dulcich are locks for the final roster who should be battling for the tight top spot, though it may be a one-sided battle given the increased value of NFL experience at the tight final position.

Eric Saubert and Eric Tomlinson should be locked in a fascinating battle for the final close point, but in the end it makes sense to hand the job over to Saubert’s more versatile and better line option. Dylan Parham and Rodney Williams are distant longshots.

Wide Receiver (7)

Do: Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, KJ Hamler, Kendall Hinton, Montrell Washington, Tyrie Cleveland

Missing the cut: Travis Fulgham, Seth Williams, Brandon Johnson, Kaden Davis, Trey Quinn, Jalen Virgil

No one will be surprised by the first four wide receivers to make the roster, as it would be a stunning development for any of those four to be left out. After that, however, things get interesting.

Montrell Washington is likely to make the roster as a returner, but he won’t just hand him that job. Kendall Hinton is talented enough to be listed, but the Broncos might think he’s redundant with Jeudy, Hamler and Washington already there. Tyrie Cleveland appears to be back to 2020 form and is the best remaining special teams player, so he gets the final spot.

Travis FulghamSeth Williams and Brandon Johnson are all names to watch as they could make the final list, even if we were forced to leave them out.

Offensive line (8)

Do: Garett Bolles, Billy Turner, Graham Glasgow, Quinn Meinerz, Calvin Anderson, Tom Compton, Netane Muti, Lloyd Cushenberry III

Missing the cut: Dalton Risner, Quinn Bailey, Ben Braden, Luke Wattenberg, Michael Niese, Zack Johnson, Sebastian Guiterrez, Casey Tucker

You can set in stone that Garett Bolles, Billy Turner, Quinn Meinerz and Calvin Anderson will be on this list in 2022 barring horrible injury. Anderson’s status at this club might come as a surprise, but at worst he’s an elite depth player at one of the most prestigious positions in the league.

Graham Glasgow, Tom Compton, Netane Muti and Lloyd Cushenberry should also end up on the bubble, but should all get there. Glasgow and Cushenberry are the only two quality centers on the list, and while it’s possible one of them will be cut or traded, it seems more likely than not that both will succeed. At least one of these two will definitely do it. Meanwhile, Compton is a terrific depth piece at guard and center, and Muti has been regularly raved about by well-sourced coaches and members of the media.

Dalton Risner might be a surprise cut or trade, but he’s drawing the short straw after disappointing the past two seasons and now finds himself with a coaching staff that has no investment in him. Ben Braden might also surprise, given his history with Hackett, but he didn’t make the Packers roster in 2021, so he’s not a lock here either. Quinn Bailey and Luke Wattenberg are names to watch for the practice squad.


NFL: Denver Broncos Minicamp
June 13, 2022; Englewood, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II (2) during mini-camp drills at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive line (6)

Do: Dre’Mont Jones, DJ Jones, DeShawn Williams, Mike Purcell, McTelvin Agim, Eyioma Uwazurike

Missing the cut: Matt Henningsen, Jonathan Harris, Jonathan Kongbo, Marquis Spencer

The starting tandem of Dre’Mont and DJ Jones should be elite, and DeShawn Williams and Mike Purcell are rock-solid depth pieces behind them. Considering the recent investment project in him and his particular versatility, Eyioma Uwazurike should be safe. McTelvin Agim will find himself on the bubble and could steal his spot from Matt Henningsen, but Agim’s ceiling flashes are so remarkable the Denver Broncos can’t give up on him just yet.

It hurt to leave Henningsen out of the last 53, and he was one of the last cuts made in that exercise, but it’s hard to find room for him unless he upsets Purcell, Agim or Williams.

Edge rusher (6)

Do: Bradley Chubb, Randy Gregory, Jonathon Cooper, Baron Browning, Nik Bonitto, Christopher Allen

Missing the cut: Malik Reed Aaron Patrick

The Broncos overhauled their roster this past offseason, and as a result, Aaron Patrick will likely miss the roster.

Jonathon Cooper could also end up on the bubble, but he’s proven to be a valuable depth play and given the injury history of Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory, this unit will likely have to rely on his depth plays at one. given time.

Christopher Allen is the name to watch, as a guy who could pressure Reed or Cooper, and one of the undrafted free agents with the best chance of making the roster. We’ll get it squealed by Reed here, thanks to his untapped potential.

Inside linebacker (3)

Do: Josey Jewell, Jonas Griffith, Alex Singleton

Missing the cut: Justin Strnad, Barrington Wade, Kana’i Mauga, Kadofi Wright,

Ultimately, the Broncos likely have four inside linebackers in the regular season, but this columnist thinks the fourth inside linebacker isn’t currently on the roster.

Justin Strnad is an unsuccessful draft pick, while Barrington Wade, Kana’i Mauga and Kadofi Wright are undrafted free agents who haven’t shown anything to give Broncos Country optimism. Look for them to sign an aging veteran or a young depth element soon after the roster shrinks.

Also, having Baron Browning and his positional versatility on the roster alleviates that need somewhat.

Cornerback (6)

Do: Patrick Surtain II, Ronald Darby, K’Waun Williams, Michael Ojemudia, Blessaun Austin, Damarri Mathis

Missing the cut: Faion Hicks, Donnie Lewis Jr., Essang Bassey, Ja’Quan McMillian

Five of the six available cornerback spots have already been solidified, with Patrick Surtain II, Ronald Darby, K’Waun Williams, Michael Ojemudia and Damarri Mathis leaving the remaining five corners to fight for a spot.

Essang Bassey has impressed the latest coaching staff but is unrelated to it, and Ja’Quan McMillian has failed to impress so far this offseason. The Broncos have invested a seventh in Faion Hicks, and he’s likely to stay on the practice squad, but parting with a seventh is a pill they can easily swallow. Donnie Lewis Jr. had some flashy moments during OTAs, but ended up falling short because Blessaun Austin was head and shoulders for the rest of the competition.

Security (5)

Do: Justin Simmons, Caden Sterns, Kareem Jackson, PJ Locke, Delarrin Turner-Yell

Missing the cut: JR Reed, Jamar Johnson

The Broncos could end up carrying just four safeties, but it’s unclear which one they’ll choose to part ways with. The top three cemented their place on the roster, but PJ Locke has been a valuable backup and contributor on special teams for years, while the team just invested a quality draft pick in Turner-Yell.

This is catastrophic for Jamar Johnson, who was unable to enter the field in 2021 and was a late investment. JR Reed was signed this offseason, but his contract suggests the team will have no problem moving on while his roster is downsized.


Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus (8) attempts a field goal against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second quarter at Empower Field in Mile High.
January 3, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus (8) attempts a field goal against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second quarter at Empower Field in Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Kicker (1)

Do: Brandon McManus

It’s an absolute blockage. There are no other kickers listed on the list and that’s not going to change any time soon.

Gambler (1)

Do: Sam Martin

Missing the cut: Corliss Server

Unfortunately for Corliss Waitman, he’s probably nothing more than a camp leg. Sam Martin has been a solid punter and is under contract, so unless Waitman looks amazing there’s no need to rock the boat.

Long snapper (1)

Do: Jacob Bobenmoyer

Much like McManus, Jacob Bobenmoyer is the only player at his roster position, so he should be a lock for that roster spot.


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