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Denver Broncos Late August Scouting Report
Charles Rives
8/27/2017

PRESEASON

Denver 24 @ Chicago 17

1. The offense failed to generate explosive plays, in part due to penalties. 2. The short-yardage offense (third/fourth downs) remains a problem. 3. The "No-Fly Zone" is its usual self, but the run defense struggled. 4. Rookies: WR Isaiah McKenzie 47-yard Touchdown reception from QB Kyle Sloter; RB DeAngelo Henderson 41-yard touchdown run; Un drafted S Jamaal Carter six tackles and a fumble recovery; OLB DeMarcus Walker two offside penalties, but also Broncos' only tackle for a loss or sack. 5. Injuries: DE Billy Winn, IR (knee); S Orion Stewart (neck)

Denver 33 @ SF 14

1. Joseph: "Trevor, he was solid. He was Trevor." "He made good decisions. His ball placement was on point tonight. He controlled the huddle. So I was pleased with Trevor." 2. The best plays Lynch made came with his feet, but success was hard to find when he dropped back to throw: 9/13-39-0-0 (3.0 yards per attempt). Lynch was able to capitalize off short fields set up by Broncos takeaways to guide the Broncos to 13 points, but it was also a night of missed opportunities. 3. Denver overcame injuries that kept starters out of the lineup to hold Carlos Hyde and Tim Hightower to 25 yards on nine carries during the first half. 4. LOT Garett Bolles was whistled for three holding penalties and a false-start. 5. Short-yardage offense showed promise going 2-for-2 in the first half. 6. McManus: 40+ FG 4/4 (lg 51); PAT 3/3.

Green Bay 17 @ Denver 20

QB Trevor Siemian (13/22-127-0-1) struggled early in the game, overthrowing WR Demaryius Thomas (1-8-0; left with groin injury) and being picked off by safety Kentrell Brice. RB CJ Anderson (9-31-1; 2-7-0) and RB Jamaal Charles (4-27-0; 2-15-0) worked with equal effectiveness and versatility. Both were quick through the holes and both were strong in pass protection. RB De'Angelo Henderson (9-34-0) fumbled twice. DE Zack Kerr's first-quarter knee injury dealt yet another blow to a position group that has already absorbed a season-ending injury to DE Billy Winn and training-camp injuries to DE Derek Wolfe and DE Jared Crick, But the Broncos got quality work from DE Adam Gotsis and DE Shelby Harris, who was forced into extensive play because of Kerr's injuries. Gotsis posted an 8-yard sack of Packers quarterback Brett Hundley and three tackles, while Harris notched three sacks, another tackle for a loss and six total tackles. OLB Von Miller only played three series, but he made them count, strong against the run and in the pass rush. He got a sack to stop a Packers' drive and forced them to settle for a 52-yard Mason Crosby field goal midway through the first quarter. WR Emmanuel Sanders (2/8-25-0) was the main target with Thomas out of the game.

TRAINING CAMP

In previous years, NFL teams had two roster deadlines in the final week of the preseason, now there is just a single cut to 53 players. The Broncos could rely heavily on their rookies this year.

The Broncos’ defensive front seven has been hit hard by injuries this off season. DE Derek Wolfe has a moderate ankle sprain and will miss a small amount of time, while DE Zack Kerr is getting work at nose tackle along with defensive end. HC Vance Joseph regards ILB Corey Nelson as a starter and expects no drop-off when he plays.

First offensive line depth chart: OL: Bolles; Garcia; Paradis; Leary; Watson. The top offensive line reserves who will be active on game day must line up at multiple positions.

RB Jamaal Charles will have a sizable role as a pass-catching back (healthy), but his workload will be managed.

WR Carlos Henderson (thumb surgery) has been a disappointment so far dropping too many passes and having trouble handling kickoffs cleanly.

Third downs and penalties continue to plague the Broncos in practice.

According to HC Vance Joseph, WR Jordan Taylor is a crisp route-runner, has great ball skills.and is a big target who also is a contributor on special teams.

Quarterback: "Whoever becomes the starter during this year, there’s still going to be growing pains because they’re both so young," Elway said.

The Broncos appear to have found a nastier attitude. "We want to be smart bullies. We don't want to be idiots," Joseph said. "We don't want to get penalties that cost us big plays in the game. RT Menelik Watson is a tone-setter and rookie LT Garett Bolles is a guy with a serious edge.

The Broncos claimed RB Stanley "Boom" Williams (5-8, 190 pounds) is a rookie CFA from the University of Kentucky and released RB Bernard Pierce.

Head Coach Vance Joseph announced that rookie T Garet Bolles has earned the starting job at left tackle.

The Broncos claimed DL Jimmy Bean off waivers and released rookie CB Dontrell Nelson.

RB Jamaal Charles has made the 53-man roster.

FANTASY OUTLOOK-PPR

KC has the easiest SOS in the AFC West, followed by the Chargers and Broncos, with Oakland having the toughest AFC West SOS.

QB Trevor Siemian is a mid-range quarterback 2 at best. McCoy wants more shotgun use which could mean a change to Lynch sooner than later. Head Coach Vance Joseph said that Siemian was the "clear-cut winner" and was "more consistent with what we asked those guys to do as the starting quarterback."

RB CJ Anderson is a running back 2 who needs a backup plan because he has never played a full 16-game season in his pro career. McCoy's offenses have averaged 109 targets per season to running backs over his eight-year career and wants to get Anderson more involved as a receiver.

RB DeVontae Booker (zero running back) is a low risk flier who will require patience.

RB Jamaal Charles is a running back 4/5 with upside. McCoy wants to limit Charles to 8–10 touches per game.

WR Demaryius Thomas (groin) is a #1 wide receiver (high-floor #2 in standard leagues). A decrease in down field targets caused Thomas' recent dip in production. Lynch would theoretically help, but Lynch has to improve on his passes 16+ yards down field.

WR Emmanuel Sanders is a #3 wide receiver with some risk.

WR Bennie Fowler, WR Jordan Taylor, and WR Cody Latimer have little fantasy value.

The Tight Ends are waiver wire fodder at best.

K Brandon McManus is limited if the offense isn't better/more consistent than 2016.

The defense is a top 10 fantasy defense needing improved run-stopping in 2017.

End.

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