I know, I know, who cares about the future?! Peyton Manning is our quarterback and this is a “Super Bowl win or bust” season. However, it is preseason and we’re all desperately waiting for the start of the regular season. We have to care about the future at some point. So, why not take a look at the future of the Broncos roster while we have some time?
This preseason has shown so far that the Broncos have a deeper roster than they’ve had in quite a while. This was never more evident than during last Sunday’s smashing of the 49ers. There are a lot of guys on this team who may not contribute a lot this year but have a bright future in a Denver uniform.
Let’s start with Brock Osweiler. A lot of Broncos fans aren’t sold on the guy(Including myself), but he has shown some real promise so far this season. Oz went 10 of 13 for 105 yards and a touchdown. Compare that to Peyton’s 12 of 14 for 102 yards and a touchdown. Obviously, Osweiler wasn’t playing the real San Francisco 49ers but it’s still encouraging. The guy seems more and more poised every day. His throwing motion has absolutely improved from the draft and he seems to understand the system a lot better. Pair him with the young offensive tools on this roster and the future could indeed be bright.
The offense is stacked with young, talented skill position players. With starter Montee Ball only entering his second year and without a running back over the age of 23 on the roster, those guys can only get better. Ronnie Hillman seems to be in a make or break year but C.J. Anderson and Juwan Thompson along with Ball make for exciting backfield possibilities. This wide receiving core may be the best in entire NFL. Even next year when most fully expect the Broncos to let Wes Welker walk, you have a top-5 receiver in Demaryius Thomas, an exciting playmaker who can line up in the slot in Emmanuel Sanders, and an upcoming rookie in Cody Latimer who could have an incredibly high ceiling. With the exception of our buddy Wes, all of those guys are only in their mid-20s.
The defense is a little bit different story. There’s a big mix of young guys and some old free agent signings on that side of the ball. Demarcus Ware may only be in Denver for a few years but remember that T.J. Ward is only 27 and Aqib Talib is only 28. They could be staples in the Denver secondary for years to come. There is a ton of young depth at cornerback in Chris Harris, Kayvon Webster, and first-round pick Bradley Roby (although Roby has had a pretty sad rookie training camp.). Danny Trevathan, Von Miller, and Nate Irving are respectively only 24, 25, and 26 years old. If Nate Irving succeeds as the mike this year, that could be the starting linebacker core throughout the Manning era into the Osweiler era. On the defensive line, Marvin Austin and Quanterus Smith could prove to be the steals of the year. Along with 28 year old stud defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, 25 year old Sly Williams, 24 year olds Malik Jackson and Derek Wolfe, that defensive line could give teams trouble for a long time to come.
This team has a lot of depth, and young depth at that. John Elway has built up a team that should be in a position to compete with the best in the league for the next decade. Despite what some “experts” might say about how old this team is and how lost they will be without Peyton Manning, there are only 6 guys on this roster over the age of 30. There is a lot to be hopeful for in the coming years as a Broncos fan. While a lot of their future success will ride on the growth of quarterback Brock Osweiler, there is no doubting the talent built up on this roster. Broncos Country can sleep happy knowing there is a lot of great football to come.