The Denver Broncos are a team that looks a lot like the Buffalo Bills in many ways. They have an unstable quarterback situation and a brand new coaching staff following the abrupt retirement of Gary Kubiak. Before the Bills and Broncos square off in Week 3 of the 2017 season, we take a look at their offseason with some help from SB Nation’s Broncos blog, Mile High Report.
Notable free agent additions: OG Ronald Leary, RB Jamaal Charles, OT Menelik Watson, NT Domata Peko
Notable free agent departures: PR DeMarcus Ware, OT Russell Okung, NT Sylvester Williams, CB Kayvon Webster
1) Traded RB Kapri Bibbs and a 2017 fifth-round pick (No. 177) to San Francisco in exchange for a 2018 fourth-round pick
2) Traded a 2017 fourth-round pick (No. 126) and a 2017 seventh-round pick (No. 252) to Cleveland for two 2017 fifth-round picks (No. 145, No. 175)
3) Traded a 2017 fifth-round pick (No. 175) and a seventh-round pick (No. 238) to Green Bay for a 2017 fifth-round pick (No. 172)
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies: OT Garett Bolles, DE DeMarcus Walker, WR Carlos Henderson, and possibly TE Jake Butt & WR Isaiah McKenzie
Biggest offseason addition: offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Ronald Leary is probably tops among players added, but McCoy, his offense, and his ability to help the quarterbacks develop are arguably the single biggest change that carries the potential to heavily impact the quality of the Broncos' season.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: The quarterback battle, Siemian vs Lynch 2.0, will dominate the discussion with ease. The fanbase is already rather sharply divided, and it has the makings of a competitive camp battle at football's most important position. Somewhat greater experience and sample size will compete against greater physical talent & the pressure to start a former 1st round pick.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: Can Shane Ray adequately fulfill DeMarcus Ware's role across from Von Miller? There's evidence from 2016 that he can, and that he has the potential to be a Pro Bowl edge rusher. But he's got to actually do it. If he can't, then a lopsided pass rush could tip a whole line of dominoes starting with more double- and triple-teams for Miller, more time for QBs to throw, and greater demands put on the secondary. If the Broncos' historic pass defense is going to regress this season, failures across the line from Miller might be the most likely culprit.
Notable injuries heading into training camp: Matt Paradis: The Broncos' best offensive lineman is coming back from two offseason hip surgeries. Can he get healthy enough and strong enough to play well by the time the season begins? Fifth round rookie TE Jake Butt has a ton of potential, but how quickly will he return from a torn ACL?
Thanks again to Mile High Report. We’ll see you in Week 3!