A few surprises.
With the roster trimmed to 53 players and the Thursday Night opener only days away, the defending Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos released their opening week depth chart.
|Wide Receiver||Demaryius Thomas||Bennie Fowler||Jordan Taylor|
|Left Tackle||Russell Okung||Ty Sambrailo|
|Left Guard||Max Garcia||Connor McGovern|
|Center||Matt Paradis||James Ferentz|
|Right Guard||Michael Schofield||Darion Weems|
|Right Tackle||Donald Stephenson||Ty Sambrailo|
|Tight End||Virgil Green||Jeff Heuerman||Jon Phillips|
|Wide Reciever||Emmanuel Sanders||Cody Latimer||Jordan Norwood|
|Running Back||C.J. Anderson||Devontae Booker||Kapri Bibbs|
|Quarterback||Trevor Siemian||Paxton Lynch||Austin Davis|
- While most assumed Michael Schofield would be the Broncos swing tackle, he is listed as the starting right guard for the Broncos. I like this move and hope Schofield proves to be better inside than he was on the outside.
- With Schofield playing guard the Broncos moved 2015 second-round Ty Sambrailo back to tackle. It was assumed that he would be the starting right guard, but they decided he was best served as the Broncos swing tackle.
- Both wide receivers Cody Latimer and Bennie Fowler are listed ahead of veteran slot receiver Jordan Norwood on the depth chart. It will be interesting to see who mans the slot when the Broncos go the three receiver sets. I'd imagine the Broncos have plays for all three receivers in the playbook.
- Rookie Paxton Lynch is listed as Trevor Siemian's backup. There was some debate about this, but after Lynch's solid preseason showing he earned this roll for now.
|Defensive End||Derek Wolfe||Billy Winn|
|Nose Tackle||Sylvester Williams||Darius Kilgo||Kyle Peko|
|Defensive End||Jared Crick||Adam Gotsis|
|Strongside Outside Linebacker||Von Miller||Shaquil Barrett||Dekoda Watson|
|Weakside Outside Linebacker||DeMarcus Ware||Shane Ray|
|Inside Linbacker||Brandon Marshall||Corey Nelson|
|Inside Linebacker||Todd Davis||Zaire Anderson|
|Left Cornerback||Aqib Talib||Kayvon Webster|
|Right Cornerback||Chris Harris Jr.||Bradley Roby||Lorenzo Doss|
|Strong Safety||T.J. Ward||Will Parks|
|Free Safety||Darian Stewart||Justin Simmons|
- With Vance Walker out for the year, veteran Jared Crick gets the start at defensive end opposite of Derek Wolfe. Veteran Billy Winn figures to get some playing time as well.
- 2015 first-round pick Shane Ray is DeMarcus Ware's backup on the depth chart, but I expect him to play more than the veteran pass rusher. Ware is going to have a pitch count for each game I believe so when he isn't out there, look for Ray to be his replacement.
- As expected, rookie Justin Simmons is the backup at free safety and should see plenty of playing time this year. Also, rookie safety Will Parks is listed as T.J. Ward's backup as well.
|Punt Return||Jordan Norwood||Emmanuel Sanders|
|Kick Return||Cody Latimer||Jordan Norwood|
- As expected, veteran Jordan Norwood is the Broncos punt return man. The Broncos did workout vetern Brandon Tate on Saturday so this could change, but we will see.
- The real surprise here is seeing Cody Latimer listed as the starting kick return man. He does have the size and speed to do it so hopefully, he does a good job at it.