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Where the Broncos' roster stands ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos are slated to add to their roster on Thursday night as the 2024 NFL Draft kicks off in Detroit.

Before the Broncos add a key contributor — whether at the 12th-overall pick or another slot — is taking stock off where the roster stands following the first several waves of free agency.

The season remains in the horizon, but Denver's roster has undergone significant change since the end of the 2023 season.

Before the team adds more players over the next several days, here's a rundown of the current roster:


The Broncos' roster currently features Ben DiNucci, Jarrett Stidham and Zach Wilson following a draft-week trade in which Denver swapped the 203rd-overall pick for the 256th-overall selection. Stidham started the Broncos' final two games of the season, and Head Coach Sean Payton said at the NFL Annual Meeting in March that the Broncos "still feel really positive" about Stidham's potential. Payton also said in March that Stidham would compete for the starting job. Ahead of the draft — and before the Broncos' trade for Wilson — Payton said "it sure looks like we have to draft a quarterback," but he noted it has to be "the right fit" for Denver.


Denver's running back room is largely unchanged, as Javonte Williams, Samaje Perine and Jaleel McLaughlin profile as the team's top backs. Williams led the team with 774 rushing yards in 2023, while McLaughlin showed promise as an undrafted rookie with 570 scrimmage yards and 5.3 yards per touch. Perine, meanwhile, finished the season with the Broncos' third-most receptions in 2023 and thrived in the two-minute drill. Denver also re-signed fullback Mike Burton to a one-year contract.


The Broncos' receiving corps underwent a significant change at the start of the new league year, as Denver traded Jerry Jeudy to the Browns for 2024 fifth- and sixth-round picks. Payton said in March that second-year player Marvin Mims Jr. will be "a candidate to play more snaps," and he also noted the team would add more competition. Denver did that in late March, as the Broncos signed unrestricted free agent Josh Reynolds to the roster. The veteran receiver caught 40 passes for 608 yards and five touchdowns for the Lions in 2023, and he'll join a group that features a 10-touchdown receiver in Courtland Sutton. Denver also returns Tim Patrick, who missed the past two seasons due to injury. Brandon Johnson and Lil'Jordan Humphrey also return as receivers who posted at least 150 yards last year.


Denver retained Adam Trautman, as the Broncos re-signed their leading receiver at the position to a two-year contract. Trautman caught 22 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns in 2023, and Lucas Krull added eight catches for 95 yards and a touchdown over the final five games of Denver's season. The Broncos will also look to regain Greg Dulcich, who appeared in two games in 2023 as he dealt with injuries. Denver's lone departure came as the team released in-line tight end Chris Manhertz.


Four of the Broncos' 2023 starters return to Denver, as Garett Bolles, Ben Powers, Quinn Meinerz and Mike McGlinchey all remain under contract. The Broncos did lose center Lloyd Cushenberry III in free agency, but General Manager George Paton said before Cushenberry's departure the team believed in Luke Wattenberg's and Alex Forsyth's ability to develop into a starter. Denver did make several additions to the line, as the Broncos signed center Sam Mustipher, tackle Matt Peart and guard Calvin Throckmorton since the start of free agency.


Just as they did along the offensive line, the Broncos prioritized the defensive line as they made additions this offseason. Since the end of the season, the Broncos have added nose tackle Rashard Lawrence, defensive tackle Malcolm Roach and defensive lineman Angelo Blackson. Roach, in particular, has developed a reputation as a strong run-stopper, and his addition came after Paton said earlier in the offseason the Broncos needed to be better against the ground game. Zach Allen returns after starting all 17 games and ranking third on the team in sacks (5.0), while D.J. Jones is back to continue to provide a push up front. Defensive linemen Mike Purcell and Jonathan Harris both departed in free agency.


The Broncos saw longtime starter Josey Jewell depart in free agency, but the team signed unrestricted free agent Cody Barton to a one-year deal. A former third-round pick, Barton started all 13 games in which he appeared in 2023 and recorded a team-high 121 tackles for the Commanders. Alex Singleton returns as the Broncos' tackling machine and a key player in the front seven, while Jonas Griffith will look to return from injury to make a similar impact as he did in 2022 when he started eight games. Justin Strnad, a key special teams contributor, also re-signed with the team to remain in Denver. Second-year player Drew Sanders remains listed at inside linebacker, but Paton hinted earlier in the offseason that Sanders could move to outside linebacker. "I think he'll probably end up on the edge, but he has the flexibility," Paton said in February.


Denver's outside linebacking corps remains virtually unchanged, as Nik Bonitto, Baron Browning, Jonathon Cooper, Thomas Incoom and Ronnie Perkins all return to the Broncos. As previously mentioned, Sanders could also be an option to join the group after playing snaps at outside linebacker during the 2023 season. Cooper led the Broncos with 8.5 sacks, while Bonitto broke out to post a career-high eight quarterback takedowns. Browning also added another 4.5 sacks in 10 games. Paton said on April 18 that the Broncos "like the group" but are "always looking" to add another impact player. "They're hard to find," Paton said of edge rushers and cornerbacks. "If someone falls in your lap, you're going to take them."


Denver has made a pair of moves at cornerback in recent days, as the Broncos signed veteran cornerback Levi Wallace and also exercised the fifth-year option on Pat Surtain II's rookie contract. Before signing Wallace, Paton said the Broncos like cornerback Ja'Quan McMillian's play at the nickel position, and he identified Riley Moss, Damarri Mathis and Tremon Smith as options at cornerback opposite of Surtain.


The Broncos' safety group will look different in 2024, as the team released Justin Simmons this offseason following eight seasons in Denver. Following the move, Denver added Dolphins safety Brandon Jones as the team signed him to a three-year deal. The Broncos also re-signed P.J. Locke, and both Jones and Locke could be candidates to start in 2024. Caden Sterns returns as well, and he'll look to have a bounce-back season after suffering a season-ending injury in Week 1 of the 2023 season. Second-year player JL Skinner could also play a bigger role, while Delarrin Turner-Yell will look to return after suffering a knee injury in Week 17.


The Broncos retained key contributors in Burton and Strnad, but the team's biggest move on the special teams unit may have been re-signing kicker Wil Lutz. After connecting on 30-of-34 kicks in his first season in Denver, the veteran kicker signed a two-year deal to stay with the Broncos. Lutz's field-goal percentage ranked third in Broncos history among kickers with at least 25 makes in a season, and he earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Month honors in November. As Denver approaches the draft, the new kickoff rule could impact the Broncos' approach to acquiring special teams contributors. Payton said in March that having Mims as a returner was "a good reason to like" the new rule, but he noted that teams will now feature two kickoff returners.

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