ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos released their first depth chart of the season (to view, click here) on Tuesday, and while much could change before Denver's Sept. 9 opener against the Seattle Seahawks, the announcement provided some clarity at several positions.
Here, then, are some initial takeaways:
- Rookie Bradley Chubb has earned a starting job at SAM linebacker. Fourth-year player Shane Ray will back up Von Miller at the WILL linebacker position. Shaquil Barrett is listed as the backup SAM.
- The running back competition isn't over, but Devontae Booker appears to have the early advantage. Rookie Royce Freeman is listed as Booker's backup, followed by De'Angelo Henderson, Dave Williams and Phillip Lindsay.
- Connor McGovern appears to have a solid hold on the starting job at right guard. He's worked with the first-team unit throughout training camp and that is reflected on the depth chart. Menelik Watson is listed as his backup.
- Rookie wide receivers Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton have been rewarded for their play early in training camp. The two rookies earned second-string spots behind Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, respectively.
- Tight end Jeff Heuerman has missed a fair number of training camp practices, but he remains the Broncos' starting tight end. Jake Butt is slotted as the second tight end as he approaches his first healthy season with the team. Austin Traylor, who has received plenty of first-team reps as Heuerman recovers from a hamstring injury, is the third tight end.
- While Chris Harris Jr. and Bradley Roby are obvious starters at the two cornerback spots, rookie Isaac Yiadom is making a push of his own for playing time. Yiadom is listed as the second-string corner behind Chris Harris Jr. Veteran Tramaine Brock is currently listed as the second-string cornerback behind Roby.
- Head Coach Vance Joseph said Sunday that Chad Kelly may soon get some reps with the second-string offense, but for now, Paxton Lynch remains the Broncos' backup quarterback. Case Keenum, of course, has been the unquestioned starter since the Broncos signed him in March.
- Darian Stewart is listed as the Broncos' starting strong safety, while Justin Simmons will man the free safety position. Su'a Cravens and Will Parks will back up Stewart and Simmons, respectively.
- Six of the Broncos' 10 draft picks are listed on the initial two-deep. In addition to Chubb, Sutton, Freeman, Yiadom and Hamilton, linebacker Josey Jewell and offensive lineman Sam Jones also made the cut. Jewell is listed as Brandon Marshall's backup, while Jones is listed as center Matt Paradis' replacement. In game action, though, McGovern could also slide over to fill Paradis' role.
- Second-year wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie may have the chance to prove himself again in 2018. He is currently listed as the starting punt returner, while Lindsay is listed as the starting kick returner.