Happy Saturday, friends. I have a few thoughts on the Broncos' roster, and then some thoughts for some potential pickups from the rest of the NFL.
1. I am only really surprised that Kyle McCarthy and Jeremy Jarmon were cut. Perrish Cox earned the axe by playing poorly in the preseason, and from the rest, only David Anderson was mildly surprising. The waiving of McCarthy seems to be a function of a decision that Quinton Carter can do everything that Kyle can do, and that you really only need two box safeties. Jarmon’s athleticism impressed me, and I’m sad to see him go.
2. I’d like to see Eron Riley, Eric Olsen, Jeremy Beal, Jeremiah Johnson, and McCarthy on the Practice Squad. None of the rest of the eligible guys have really showed me much. That’s 4 offensive players and 1 defender, so I’d want to find three other defenders around the NFL. (Jarmon isn’t eligible, because he was on Washington’s 53-man roster for most of the 2009 and 2010 seasons.)
3. I'm slightly concerned about carrying just three RBs, and obviously no backup offensive lineman is worth a damn at this point, including Russ Hochstein. On defense, I'm not freaking out about any position except CB. I'd definitely like to see somebody better than Chris Harris come along, and I would also be amenable to an upgrade over Mitch Unrein (sorry, TJ) and/or Ryan McBean at DT. There are some good players available at both CB and DT, as we'll discuss below.
4. Here are some players that I think are worth exploring for the Broncos, as they set their 53-man roster:
Waived (Can be claimed through a process for which the Broncos hold second priority)
MLB Tavares Gooden - Baltimore - 4th season
Gooden is a solid pro who has started for the Ravens intermittently during his three seasons in the league. I’d definitely take him over Mike Mohamed and risk losing Mohamed on the Practice Squad.
TE Cornelius Ingram - Philadelphia - 2nd season
Ingram hasn’t done much in the NFL, but he showed a lot of signs of being an outstanding receiving TE someday during his time as a collegian at Florida. He was recruited originally as a QB and converted to TE when Tim Tebow signed.
OT Phil Trautwein - Cleveland - 2nd season
Trautwein is a RT only in the NFL, but I like his upside. I’d take him over Herb Taylor any day.
DE Cedric McKinley - Minnesota - 1st season
I saw some pass rush ability from McKinley against Dallas in the third week of the preseason, and I think he’d make a fine addition to the Broncos’ practice squad. He’s raw, but when you can move, and you have size, it’s worth seeing what good coaching can do.
OT Selvish Capers - Washington - 1st season
I liked Capers coming out of college, and I think that his year spent in Washington makes him attractive. He’s obviously been trained in a lot of the zone blocking stuff that Denver is expected to use frequently - both in Washington and at West Virginia.
Released - More than four years experience, so these players are free to sign anywhere
OT George Foster - New Orleans - 7th season
I’m actually not kidding. Foster is a veteran, and I think he can be a competent backup OT. I’d be nervous if he were starting for very long, but he’s got a track record for adequacy in the NFL.
OT Pat McQuistan - Tennessee - 6th season
McQuistan is somewhat limited athletically, and he’s more of a RT than a LT, but he’s quite a bit better than Chris Clark or Herb Taylor as the backup swing Tackle. I’d feel comfortable using McQuistan as a sixth offensive lineman in situations where the Broncos really want to run the ball, too.
RB Sammy Morris - New England - 12th season
This guy would be a much better #3 RB than Lance Ball is. Morris can run, catch and block, and while you wouldn’t really want him getting 200 carries in a season at this point, he’d be very helpful in a limited role. Morris has won a lot of games, and he’d also be a help in re-establishing a winning culture.
CB Fred Bennett - Arizona - 5th season
Bennett is a solid backup CB and special teams guy. I’d feel better with another veteran guy in the group.
CB Jonathan Wade - Cincinnati - 5th season
Wade has good size and speed but has always played on bad defenses in St. Louis, Detroit, and Cincinnati. I like him better as a backup than as a starter, and that’s what he’d obviously be in Denver.
DT Derek Landri - Philadelphia - 5th season
Landri visited Denver in the “offseason” and while terms weren’t agreed upon at that time, I think it’d be a really good idea for the Broncos to look at buying low on him now. He’s a quality rotation DT, and the Broncos have no lack of cap room to offer him something like one year, $1 million.
DT Anthony Hargrove - Philadelphia - 7th season
Hargrove is a really unique player, because he’s a DE-sized guy who does his best work as a pass-rushing DT. You wouldn’t want to start him, but having Hargrove in the game on 3rd and long with Von Miller, Robert Ayers, and Elvis Dumervil is a good thing.
DT Damione Lewis - Houston - 11th season
Lewis never really has been the game-changer that St. Louis thought they were drafting, but he’s been a very competent pro inside for a long time. He played for John Fox for four years in Carolina, and then got caught in a scheme change that didn’t fit his skill-set in Houston this season. Lewis can definitely help as a rotational DT.
CB Lito Sheppard - Oakland - 10th season
I’ve always liked Sheppard more than some people do, and I believe that he’s been a solid CB throughout his nine-year career. He’s not a star at this point, but he’s competent. The Broncos could do a lot worse for a backup role. He was only a Raider for about a week, so I doubt that he’s badly contaminated.
5. Here are some guys who I think are washed up, bad fits, and/or overrated, and who I wouldn't bother with:
DT Tommie Harris - Indianapolis - 8th season - Finished, and I think he knows it
DE Igor Olshansky - Dallas - 8th season - Bad scheme fit, and likely headed to Houston
G Max Jean-Gilles - Cincinnati - 6th season - An awful player, and not likely to ever be anything other than that.
S Brandon Meriweather - New England 5th season - A reminder of how stupid the "Pro Bowler" designation is. He's never been a good starting FS.
CB Joselio Hanson - Philadelphia - 7th season - Not a very good player. He has a memorable name, but you only know it because a lot of passes get completed on him.
What say you? Am I missing anybody that you can think of?