Behind Enemy Lines: Denver Broncos Offseason Recap

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Dec 6, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Shane Ray (56) tackles Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Blake Sims (6) during the second quarter of the 2014 SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. The play caused Ray to be ejected from the game for targeting. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Draft:

  • R1 – Shane Ray: Defensive End/OLB, Missouri
  • R2 – Ty Sambrallo: Offensive Tackle, Colorado State
  • R3 – Jeff Heuerman: Tight End, Ohio State
  • R4 – Max Garcia: Center, Florida
  • R5 – Lorenzo Doss: Corner Back, Tulane
  • R6 – Darius Kilgo: Nose Tackle, Maryland
  • R7 – Trevor Siemien: Quarterback, Northwestern
  • R7 – Taureen Nixon: Defensive Back, Tulane
  • R7 – Josh Furman: Defensive Back, Oklahoma State

The Broncos were able to address some needs lost in Free Agency, but given the depth on the Broncos team I only see one or two first year starters on this list.  Starting with their first round pick, Shane Ray. Ray shouldn’t have made it out of the top 10 in the draft, but because of an incident involving marijuana, his draft stock started falling fast leading up to the draft.

Ray is a fast, versatile edge rusher who could come in and start for any NFL team. He was the only pick the Broncos made that legitimately worries me, with Von Miller on one side, and Shane Ray on the other side, they are going to have an incredible pass rush this year. This defense can quickly make a team one dimensional by taking the passing game out all together if they get the momentum going their way.

New Broncos head coach, Gary Kubiak tends to like faster, more athletic offensive linemen on his team, so they can be more productive in the second level of run blocking. So picking a Tackle and Center isn’t surprising to me. Ty Sambrailo is a very very athletic college Tackle. He might need to bulk up a bit in order to be an every down Tackle in the NFL, but his versatility and athleticism is what makes him a solid fit for Denver.

Given the fact that only one of Denver’s remaining offensive linemen finished last season with a positive grade from Pro Football Focus, I’m sure Sambrailo will be able to find a lot of playing time in 2015.  Max Garcia, is the kind of player who appears to be a natural leader on and off the field. He’s very strong, but not incredibly quick. He’ll most likely need to develop a little bit more if he wants to be a starting Center, but he might be able to fit in as a workable replacement for Orlando Franklin in the interior of the Offensive Line.

Overall, the Broncos did get a stand out player in Ray, but to really see the fruits of their labor, and know how much the rest of the draft class will impact the division we might have to wait a few years.

Next: Broncos Offseason Recap: Schedule