A player-by-player look at our initial roster. (Photos by AP)
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Notes on the Broncos' first roster of the 2016 regular season ...
QUARTERBACKS (3): **Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Austin Davis
With Mark Sanchez losing out in the three-way quarterback battle, Siemian and Lynch are joined by Davis, a 27-year old veteran who started eight games for the Rams in 2014 and two more for the Browns last season. Davis, a Southern Mississippi product, has a career 80.4 rating and a 13-to-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
RUNNING BACKS/FULLBACKS (4):C.J. Anderson, Andy Janovich, Devontae Booker, Kapri Bibbs
One of the deepest positions on the roster features Booker and Bibbs, who cracks the first post-preseason roster after a strong summer that included plenty of special-teams repetitions, a team-leading 138 rushing yards in the preseason and praise from Head Coach Gary Kubiak. Janovich is the only fullback in the group; throughout the preseason, he was the only rookie listed as a starter on offense or defense.
TIGHT ENDS (3):Virgil Green, Jeff Heuerman, John Phillips
Green established himself as the clear No. 1 tight end thanks to a strong summer, and Phillips overcame an early ankle injury to make the team after signing with the Broncos at the start of training camp. Heuerman was cleared to return to practice last week after struggling for nearly two weeks with his second hamstring injury of the year; he only played in one preseason game (at Chicago on Aug. 11), and that is still his only NFL game experience of any kind, so he will be learning on the fly.
WIDE RECEIVERS (6): **Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, Jordan Norwood, Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler, Jordan Taylor
This is arguably the deepest position on the roster, but one that was hit by injuries during the preseason when Fowler suffered an elbow fracture and Cody Latimer incurred a slight knee injury on a punt play against Los Angeles on Aug. 27. Both were on the practice field this week. But even without them, the Broncos have ample quality at the top, experienced depth and with Taylor, a promising young deep threat who has already developed good timing with both of their quarterbacks. Once again, this position should be a team strength.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9):Russell Okung, Max Garcia, Matt Paradis, Donald Stephenson, Michael Schofield, Darrion Weems, Connor McGovern, Ty Sambrailo, James Ferentz
The biggest question remains at right guard, where Sambrailo is poised to resume football activities following a July 31 knee injury, but Schofield and Weems split the first-team work in preseason games. Weems was cleared last week after going through the league-mandated post-concussion protocol. McGovern showed promise and improved as the preseason progressed.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (7):Derek Wolfe, Sylvester Williams, Jared Crick, Darius Kilgo, Adam Gotsis, Billy Winn, Kyle Peko
With Vance Walker on injured reserve, Crick moved up and Winn seized an opportunity after joining the Broncos early in training camp. The versatility of Williams and Kilgo will help; Williams should assume a greater role as one of the two linemen in the pass-rush sub package than he had last year. Gotsis continues to get back to form after his torn ACL last year; he will be worked into the rotation, but remains a work in progress. Peko is the only undrafted rookie to make this iteration of the 53-man roster.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS (4): **Brandon Marshall, Todd Davis, Zaire Anderson, Corey Nelson
Marshall is the unquestioned leader of the group and is expected to be its every-down linchpin. Davis should play extensively in the base package and adjusted well to his role on the first team after Danny Trevathan's departure. Nelson's experience and Anderson's instincts will serve them well on special teams and if they are needed for expansive roles on defense should injuries strike the starters.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (5):Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Shane Ray, Shaquil Barrett, Dekoda Watson
Talent abounds, and even with Ware on a play count as he continues recovering from back issues, this could be the league's most productive collection of 3-4 outside linebackers. Second-teamers Ray and Barrett could start on many teams, and even Watson, the third-teamer, looked like a first-teamer in a dominant preseason that included four sacks and a safety. Watson will also have a prominent role on special teams.
CORNERBACKS (5):Chris Harris Jr., Aqib Talib, Bradley Roby, Kayvon Webster, Lorenzo Doss
This group will have a big challenge against the Panthers' imposing Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess, but looks poised to build off of its dominant 2015 season. Talib returned from the non-football injury list during training camp and quickly returned to form. Roby will play extensively as the No. 3 cornerback. Webster and Doss had good training camps, although Doss heads into the regular season looking to bounce back from a frustrating performance in the preseason finale.
SAFETIES (4): **Darian Stewart, T.J. Ward, Justin Simmons, Will Parks
Shiloh Keo's two-game suspension leaves a talented quartet as the regular season begins. Stewart and Ward represent one of the league's best safety duos, while Simmons and Parks both had promising summers, with Simmons poised to assume the extensive role in the Broncos' dime personnel/nickel alignment sub package handled by David Bruton Jr. last year.
SPECIALISTS (3):P Riley Dixon, LS Casey Kreiter, K Brandon McManus
McManus is the only holdover with previous experience. Kreiter was the only long snapper in training camp after Nathan Theus was waived in July. Dixon's 40.2-yard net punting average in the preseason was 0.5 yards better than Britton Colquitt's net average last year, and Dixon's average was hindered by some experimenting on punts, particularly in the preseason finale, when an 18-yarder brought down his average.