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Denver Broncos February Scouting Report
Charles Rives

2017 Schedule: Home: KC, Oak, SD NE NYJ Dal NYG Cin Away: KC Oak SD Buf Mia Phi Was Ind.

Head Coach The Broncos were looking for a "very smart and bright" head coach who could handle a variety of personalities and connect with players in the locker room. The head coach needed to be on the same page as Elway and have the ability to manage both coaches and players. Dolphins DC, Vance Joseph, will be the 16th head coach in Denver Broncos history. "He has great leadership qualities and a strong vision of what it takes to win." (Elway). Joseph will assemble while providing some continuity. Joseph is a natural leader with the knack for teaching players how to see things and how to do things physically. A strong talent evaluator, the former Colorado Buffalo, will work the team hard enough, while relateing to them really well. For Joseph, the ability to make drastic decisions when necessary and bold decisions to fix glitches is critical to success as a head coach. It's about the nimbleness and confidence to follow through on those changes, particularly in scheme and tactical adjustments. His thought is, players first, scheme second. His coordinators will put players first coaches: "If it doesn't fit our players, let's not do it." TEAM FIRST is going to be Joseph's culture. When one phase is down, the other phases pick it up. His message to the players: COME TO WORK. The goal: make every meeting, every practice and every rep a winning performance. He and his wife, Holly, have a teenage daughter, Nataly, and a young son named Stone.

OFFENSE Joseph pulled an absolute coup by signing two of the best offensive minds available in Mike McCoy and Bill Musgrave. Both have a great history in developing quarterbacks and building offenses. Joseph wants an up-tempo offense, with tactical flexibility, that attacks and scores points. He believes he has the talent on hand to accomplish that with the first task being to develop an offensive scheme that plays to the strengths of two quarterbacks who are very different. The Broncos have the youngest depth chart at quarterback in the league with QB Trevor Siemian and QB Paxton Lymch. Siemian improved over the course of his first season as a starter, while Lynch didn't look ready to lead an NFL offense. Siemian has the leadership skills, toughness, smarts and seniority to win the job, but big-armed Lynch is an ideal fit in McCoy's vertical, seam-stretching offense the Broncos are expected to adopt. The offensive line must be the top offseason priority. The new staff must decide who has the talent to start in the NFL, dump those who don't and are not suitable depth, and fix the issues in execution. The peak period for a tackle (25 to age 31), centers (26 to age 30), and Guards (age 26 to age 29). The Bronco offensive linemen are: Okung 29 (LT); Stephenson 28 (RT); Garcia 25 (G); McGovern (all line positions) 23; Turner (G) 25; Frentz 27 (C); Paradis 27 (C) (hips/will not return until training camp -- if then Sanbrillo 24 (RT) (make or break season to develop); Schofield: (not bad as a right guard in 2016) 26 (G); Brenner (C) 26; Day (C) 25; Reese (C) 24; Murry (T) 23.

OC: Mike McCoy returns to Denver as offensive coordinator and his offensive approach will be the key to the Broncos success. McCoy is known for his versatile offensive mind and his ability to adapt and make changes on the fly during the regular season. He is an experienced play-caller who can build a system around players with energy and creativity. McCoy has experience in a variety of schemes and points of emphasis (West Coast, "Air Coryell", NE Patriots-based schemes, zone-read option, Manning-Moore). QB Coach Bill Musgrave is reunited with McCoy and together they will be able to get the most out of QBs Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian. RB coach/assist HC Eric Studesville and WR coach Tyke Tolbert have been retained which will provide some continuity. OL: Jeff Davidson used to protect John Elway's blind side and pave the way for Broncos running backs. Also, a former offensive coordinator, he has worked previously with McCoy, and with Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick. Six of the last nine offenses Davidson coached were in the league's top four in average per carry. Davidson is known for coaching a power running game, but will have to fit his scheme to an undersized Broncos line that was often over whelmed by big defensive lines. None the less, he will be an excellent mentor for his young players. John Benton, assistant offensive line coach, is a Durango, Colorado native, a four-year starter as an offensive lineman (CSU) and has 30 years of coaching experience (13 years OL). TE Geep Christ has over 26 years of NFL coaching experience from offensive assistant to coordinator. Chryst is familiar with Mike McCoy and line coach Jeff Davidson from their time in Carolina.

Defense Joseph cosiders himself a 3-4 coach and is bringing his defensive philosophy - aggression-with him. Joseph has made it known many times in his career that he prefers to make a scheme fit his players rather than the other way around. Rather than take years to change personnel, he figures to adjust his own ways in Denver. He believes a defense should rush the passer and defend the outside (cornerbacks). Both his Miami 4-3 and Phillip's 3-4/Seahawk 4-3 combo, meet that criteria. Joseph expects that retaining position coaches and promoting Joe Woods to defensive coordinator will allow the defense to build off its recent success. The basic principles of the defense will remain the same, with some tweaks, but with the same attacking style. DC Joe Woods’ specialty with film study, intensity, and progressive style make him a great fit. Marcus Robertson, a former all-pro, replaces Woods as DB coach. He will focus on how the DBs see the game and how they get themself into position to make plays. Johnnie Lynn, a former defensive back with 23-years of coaching experience, is the new assistant defensive backs coach.

Special Teams KC assistant special teams coach, Brock Olivo, will be the Broncos new ST Coordinator. He spent four years in the NFL as a running back and special teams ace for the Detroit Lions, where he was known as a tenacious and furious player. Hopefully, that attitude will translate into the Broncos style of play on Special Teams: K.I.L.L. mentality (Keep It Likeable and Learnable). "We’re going to be simple. We’re going to play fast. We’re going to play hard. We’re going to turn our guys loose." Olivo worked under Dave Toub, who is considered to be the best ST Coach in the league.

Cedric Smith, a former NFL fullback, has joined the Denver Broncos' staff as an assistant strength and conditioning coach. He likes a "vigorous" offseason regimen "that not only puts an emphasis on strength training and cardiovascular endurance, but also focuses on enhancing speed and flexibility.

Future Contracts





Zac Brooks




Dillion Day




Iosia Iosia




Justin Murry




Jeff Overbaugh




Bernard Pierce




Travis Raciti




Steven Scheu




Hunter Sharpe




Kevin Snyder




Austin Hunter

Mekale McKay

Cedrick Lang










Free Agency The Broncos free-agency plan will be to emerge with a starting lineup without any gaping holes, giving the team more flexibility in the draft to pursue the best available players and react to an unexpected drop by a player (like Shane Ray). QB Tony Romo or QB Tyrod Taylor will cost too much for Denver, but the team could make a play for Romo if he becomes a free agent. A low cost veteran also isn't out of the question.

Key Denver Free Agents: CAP SPACE $38,545,915

Exclusive-rights: Players with two or fewer seasons of service time with expiring contracts. Retaining these players takes only tending a qualifying offer -- a one-year deal that can be at the league minimum. Starters: LS Casey Kreiter, C Matt Paradis Backups: WRs Jordan Taylor, Bennie Fowler, OLB Shaquil Barrett.

Restricted: Players with three accrued seasons and expiring contracts. Teams place tenders on RFAs at various levels that correspond to the compensation from another team if they are signed; if they do not place a tender, the player becomes an unrestricted free agent. Starters: K Brandon McManus, ILB Todd Davis.

Unrestricted: Players with four or more accrued seasons and expiring contracts that are not slapped with the franchise or transition tags. Starters: OLB DeMarcus Ware (the Broncos will be in good hands without Ware), NT Sylvester Williams Backups: RB Justin Forsett, LS Thomas Gafford, WR Jordon Norwood, OLB, Dekoda Watson, DEs Vance Walker, Billy Winn, CB Kayvon Webster.

What the 2017 coaching staff thinks of them: WR Cody Latimer (now-or-never point of his career as a receiver), TE Jeff Heuerman-- can he stay healthy?

Compensatory picks: best senario 3 3 4 7; worst 3 6 7.

Needs: Generally, the thinking is that the Broncos needs are OL, DL, and TE, but the new staff, particularly on offense, will identify the needs for Joseph's Broncos. Joseph Likes what he has seen of LOT Russell Okung, LOG Max Garcia and C Matt Paradis. The free agent class for tackles, guards and running backs is good, but weak for quarterbacks and centers.

Free agents who could be of interest if the price is right:

RB Mike Gillislee, Danny Woodhead

OT: Andre Whitfield, Riley Reiff, Ricky Wagner, Mike Reemer, Sebastian Vollimer

G/C J.C. Trotter, Kevin Zeitler, T.J. Lang, Ronald Leary

DL too costly or one dimentional ?

CBs: None/high cost

S: none/high cost

Restricted Free Agents: Falcons WR Taylor Gabriel (26) Vikings WR Adam Thielen (26) will cost more than the Broncos will want to pay, but the Broncos really need a third wide receiver.

2017 Draft

The Broncos will pick 20th in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft when it begins on April 27 in Philadelphia. There aren't any sure-fire franchise quarterbacks, but the running back class is as talented as any in recent years. The tight end class is loaded with athletic pass-catchers to create mismatches, but there is a lack of franchise offensive tackles. The wide receivers without many college touchdowns that may be drafted high are likely to bust. There is a handful of "hard-hat-and-lunch-pail" interior guys capable of stepping in as Day 1 starters and the pass rusher class features a number of marquee playmakers. The defensive tackle class has a handful of blue-collar defenders with the size, strength, and power to control the line of scrimmage as run stoppers or pass rushers, while inside linebacker features a number of hard-hitting traffic cops with sideline-to-sideline playmaking ability. The 2017 class is loaded with big corners capable of using press, bail or off technique in zone or man schemes and there is a lot of excitement about the safety class.

Players who could go at pick 20.

TE O.J. Howard (Ala.)-top tight end in good class-complete player 6-6, 251 pounds. He is an athletic freak with speed and soft hands.

LOT: Garett Bolles (Utah) an energetic, physical tackle (25). He has some things to clean up but he has starting left tackle ability.

LOT Cam Robinson (Ala.) could be a dominating run blocker early in his career, but he needs to clean up some technique in the passing game.

LOT Ryan Ramczyk (Wis.) doesn't have a lot of experience, but has the tools to be a solid starting left tackle very early in his career. He fits both the power and zone blocking schemes.

RB Christian McCaffrey, (Stanford) 6'0, 202 is a player who will be moved around creating mismatches. He has a patient (L.Bell), elusive running style (not power back). An outstanding receiver, punt/kickoff returner and outstanding receiver. Versatility is what makes him valuable.

Players who could go at pick 51.

G Dan Feeney, (Ind.) 6'4, 304 whose blend of size, agility and power make him scheme versatile and he plays with the nastiness and technique to start early.

TE Bucky Hodges (VT), versatile 6'7, 245, who can line up at any pass-catching position.

TE David Njoku, athletic 6'4, 245 (The U.) needs to get stronger, more physical; very raw but extremely high upside.

TE Jordan Leggett (Clem), 6'5 258, athletically gifted and can get open, catch the football and make plays.

G Forrest Lamp (W. Ken.) 6'4 305 technically sound, very strong, consistent and One to start at left tackle and one to start at right tacklrreliable, should get on the field right away.

OT Roderick Johnson (Fl. St,) 6'6 308 youngest of the top OT prospects with both an impressive resume, and terrific room for growth

G Pat Elfin (Oh. St.) 6'3, 300 could step in and be a Day One starter with his ability to play either Center or Guard


20- McCaffrey, Bolles

51-Johnson, Lamp, Elfin

I belive that teams should have two starting caliber tackles with left tackle skill sets. One to start at left tackle and one to start at right tackle. That said, McCaffrey, is hard to pass up as he could fill the Broncos needs as a #3 wide reciever, passing down running back, and punt and kickoff return man.


Elway has hired a head coach who's temperment and competative drive mirrors his own and Joseph should light a fire under the Broncos. Joseph has assembled an impressive offensive brain trust/coaching staff, while retaining most of the outstanding defensive coaching staff. He picked a ST coordinator with fire in his belly and experience working under the best STC in the NFL. Josheph's goal in the offseason is (always) to find better players to improve the entire offense. He wants an offense that is up tempo, that attacks, and that scores points. Joseph shares Bill Belichick's idea of a "do your job" and a culture of team-first accountability. But Denver isn't Foxbourgh and eliminating all outside distractions will be difficult, if not impossible. OC Mike McCoy has built a successful career on his intricate knowledge of a variety of schemes. He is the perfect offensive coordinator "to do" what is best for the team with a tailor-made offense and coaches who focus on player development. McCoy wants the offense to adapt to the situation at hand on a weekly basis and attack a defense's weaknesses. The offense will include a combination of power, inside zone, and outside zone with both zone and power blocking elements. Melding both styles fits in with having power-scheme expert Jeff Davidson and zone guru John Benton as the two line coaches. McCoy expects the offense to succeed or fail based on how the line develops. To that end, he wants an offense that his players (especially the O-line) can be successful in. McCoy will aim for simplicty, by using a small number of personnel groups combined with a few plays that both veterans and newcomers can easily acclimate to because of the small number of tasks they will need to master. McCoy's ultimate goal is an offense that his players can do effectively and that the quarterbacks are comfortable with. It will be all about execution.



The Broncos offensive players should perform better than last year for their fantasy owners with an improved offensive line and the return of RB C.J. Anderson (hasn't had a full healthy season in the NFL) and second year RB Devonte Booker. OL coach, Davidson has primarily coached power-blocking units and Booker, as well as G Max Garcia, could benefit from the scheme change, but will open camp behind Anderson. WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas are not quarterback proof. QB Paxton Lynch clearly prefers Sanders over Thomas. The defense (and its players) should perform as well or better for their fantasy owners. The kicker, Brandon McManus, should have more PATs and similar field goal attempts.

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