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Broncos release initial 2020 depth chart: Jerry Jeudy, Lloyd Cushenberry III listed as starters


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — A pair of Broncos rookies are listed as starters ahead of Week 1.

The Broncos released their initial depth chart on Monday, and first-round pick Jerry Jeudy and third-round pick Lloyd Cushenberry III are listed with the starting offense.

Jeudy, who is listed as a co-starter with Tim Patrick at the wide receiving spot opposite Courtland Sutton, worked extensively with the first-team offense for most of training camp, while Cushenberry earned the starting job after competing with Austin Schlottmann and Patrick Morris for the position.

Cushenberry is expected to be just the second rookie to start at center in Week 1 for the Broncos since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Former third-round pick J.D. Walton started 16 games for Denver as a rookie in 2010.

Jeudy could be the first Broncos rookie receiver to start in Week 1 since Eddie Royal in 2008. If the Broncos open the game in a three-receiver set, Sutton, Jeudy and Patrick would likely all earn the start.

Alongside Cushenberry, the team's offensive line looks largely as expected, as Garett Bolles, Dalton Risner, Graham Glasgow and Elijah Wilkinson are all listed as starters. Schlottmann is listed as the team's backup center and left guard, while rookie Netane Muti is noted as the team's reserve right guard. Calvin Anderson will back up Bolles, while veteran Demar Dotson is listed behind Wilkinson.

DaeSean Hamilton is listed as a second-string wide receiver behind Sutton, while KJ Hamler, Tyrie Cleveland and Diontae Spencer round out the position group.

At running back, Melvin Gordon III and Phillip Lindsay are listed as co-starters. During training camp, Head Coach Vic Fangio hinted at the decision.

"I anticipate them both playing enough to where we really don't have to designate a starter," Fangio said.

The Broncos did designate a starter at inside linebacker following the team's decision to release Todd Davis on Friday. Third-year player Josey Jewell will fill his spot, while recent signings Mark Barron and Austin Calitro are listed as the backups for Jewell and Alexander Johnson, respectively.

Denver's starting units otherwise lacked surprises, save for Andrew Beck being listed as the team's fullback and not among the team's tight ends. Noah Fant is the team's first-string tight end, followed by Nick Vannett, Jake Butt and Albert Okwuegbunam.

For the second consecutive season, Diontae Spencer will serve as the team's kick and punt returner. Tyrie Cleveland is listed as the team's backup kick returner, while Bryce Callahan was named the Broncos' backup punt returner.

The Broncos' third cornerback job appears to be down to Davontae Harris and Michael Ojemudia, who are listed as the backups to A.J. Bouye andCallahan, respectively. Duke Dawson Jr. and Essang Bassey round out the group. Dawson is also listed as the team's backup strong safety behind Kareem Jackson. Trey Marshall was tabbed as Justin Simmons' backup.

The rest of Denver's defensive starters are as expected, as DE Shelby Harris, NT Mike Purcell, DE Jurrell Casey, OLB Von Miller, OLB Bradley Chubb are all listed with the first-team defense.

Perhaps the most encouraging sign of the offseason is that there has been no question about who would be listed as the team's starting quarterback. After a 4-1 finish to 2019, Drew Lock is the team's clear starter and will lead the Broncos against the Titans on Sept. 14.

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