Opinion Time: Other than the QB battle, what are the storylines to follow at Broncos camp?
Sentinel sports editor
There are few, if any, playoff contenders that have a weak left tackle. Obviously, if the QB is right-handed, that LT is the blindside protector.
Nothing will endanger a QB more than a pathetic pass protector at left tackle.
Denver used its first-round draft pick to snag Garett Bolles out of Utah to be its left tackle of the present and the future.
Right now, the battle is between him and Ty Sambrailo, a former second-round pick out of Colorado State.
At the moment this looks kinda frightening.
Last year, Sambrailo was horrible at right tackle. Horrible isn’t even a strong enough word to describe how bad he was. Granted his first two years have been rocked by injuries, first a shoulder, then an elbow last year, but come on, this is the NFL!
I’m not sure what it means that he’s still in the mix to be the possible starter at left tackle.
Bolles was regarded as one of the best LT prospects in the draft, but he’s still raw.
So a raw rookie and an injury-prone third-year guy who is likely getting his last chance with the Broncos are the choices.
This is where you want to refill your anxiety medicine.
It’s hard to tell right now, the first preseason game should show a little and maybe a lot.
But neither one of these guys do a lot to fill the confidence glass.
With a pair of young QBs, a weak LT could mean disaster for the Broncos.
This battle will be a heated one, and Bronco fans better hope that one of them can handle the job.
Sentinel page designer
The Denver Broncos have perhaps the biggest position battle in the NFL between Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian at quarterback, but there is one particular group to keep a keen eye on.
Because the Broncos again will be trotting out a young QB, it’s imperative they have a strong running game to take some pressure off the guy under center.
Losing C.J. Anderson last season for nine games with a torn meniscus practically wrecked the Broncos’ season, and with little depth at the position, the team struggled down the stretch.
This year could be a different story, as Anderson is back for his fifth season and appears to be healthy, but could take on a more balanced role.
The team added former menace and Kansas City Chief back Jamaal Charles, who will vie for carries and provide solid pass-catching ability out of the backfield.
Devontae Booker scooped up plenty of experience last year with Anderson sidelined, and then there’s the rookie, De’Angelo Henderson, who set a NCAA record at Coastal Carolina by scoring in 35 consecutive games. Denver also added Stevan Ridley and Bernard Pierce to spice up camp.
If the Broncos can’t run the ball, they won’t be successful. Thankfully there are plenty of guys who can — if they stay healthy.
Sentinel sports copy editor/designer
In Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, the Broncos have two of the best wide receivers in football.
Call them Option 1 and Option 1A in the passing game. Both can get open and provide big-play ability.
After Thomas and Sanders, the waters get murkier.
Thomas and Sanders combined for 167 catches, 2,115 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
Jordan Norwood, who is no longer on the team, was Denver’s third-best WR with 232 yards and 21 catches.
There are six receivers battling to be the Broncos’ third wide-out — Marlon Brown, Bennie Fowler, Cody Latimer, Jordan Taylor and rookies Carlos Henderson and Isaiah McKenzie.
One of the those six WRs need to show they can be a viable pass-catcher, because having someone else to stretch the field will open things up for Thomas and Sanders.
With a young QB, the more options there are on the field, the better.
Look for Fowler, who has had a good camp so far, or Taylor to win the job. The two rookies will get playing time — as returners if nothing else.
Latimer is a fantastic special teams gunner, but he was drafted to catch passes and he has been a disappointment so far.
If the Broncos can get consistent play from their third wide receiver, the offense will be more explosive.