While the quarterback position is loaded with questions, adding Case Keenum did stop the bleeding, so will address the other position needs. Plus, how these three groups play, will affect how he does. From poor to very good.
Since 2013, the same group is always a question: offensive line. My biggest question is, who plays left tackle if Garett Bolles goes down? His rookie year was rocky, which is to be expected at that spot; however, he started every game which with our OL group, was a feat in itself.
However, if he gets injured or doesn’t cut down the penalties, who will take his spot? Ok, I lied, there are more than three questions, but they lead to the BIG questions. There truly is no left tackle on the squad. There are swing tackles (who are hurt), but if you’re a swing, it’s the same as saying, a master of none. If Bolles was the best we had and he wasn’t great, what does that say about the depth behind him?
Then we have questions at right tackle. Neither Menelik Watson or Jared Veldheer have taken a snap this year. We have no clue what’s going on there. Can both stay healthy all camp? To me, another tackle needs to be brought in. There’s a reason Guards aren’t tackles: arm length. Unless we have a Guard with 34″ or longer wings, he’s going to struggle.
Since we started with the offense, lets pick the next big area. Receiving. As I wrote here, we’ve got great big ??? on who’s catching the ball and how they perform. We’ve got a new wide receiver coach and running back coach, so there’s already questions on how any returning guys adjust.
We heard how Emmanuel Sanders and WR Coach Zack Azzani butted heads (he says it’s all cool now). Will that matter? As mentioned in the article, Sanders and Demaryius Thomas now have age and injury concerns, with huge questions about the depth past them, including those at tight end and running back.
Why is running back included in receiving questions? Because supposedly Denver will be using them often as receivers out the back field. That group has a new coach, Curtis Modkins, plus no returning starter. It’s a young healthy group with some speed though, and that’s worth a cheer. Plus, while he’s not starting, Paxton Lynch and Devontae Booker have great chemistry, no reason why that can’t be built with Keenum.
Like bringing in a tackle, John Elway should add a veteran WR or TE, if a starter goes down or gimpy, who’s proven they can be WR2? We have a lot of hope, but no one proven.
Finally, on to defense. Our cornerback unit has me less than excited. As written here, we’ve got real issues. Not just about depth, but who’s CB3? If Chris Harris, Jr and Bradley Roby are playing slot and outside, who’s playing the other outside position? Brendan Langely? Tramaine Brock?
With Shane Ray’s status a giant question, would that indicate we see more nickel and dime packages like last season? Do we use Su’a Cravens as a slot, move CHJ back outside?
If we use safeties and linebackers as CB3, then I suppose we don’t an issue, but not having a strong third cover guy is worrisome because we did best when Aqib Talib and CHJ played outside and DeMarcus Ware, Derek Wolfe and Von Miller made things a whole lot easier on Brandon Marshall and Todd Davis “covering” the slot WR/TE.
As of right now, I’d say we’re just three players away from being balanced and scary good. Tackle, Receiver and CB. Not a bad place to be.