ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – The Denver Broncos released the first depth chart of the new season on Monday.
Only one area really stands out, but does it ever! That would be the Broncos very, very young offensive line. Now keep in mind, this is only the first depth chart of the season, and it is early August. Still, it is a bit of a surprise to see so much youth in starting roles.
The depth chart lists second round draft pick Ty Sambrailo as the number one left tackle. That much we expected with the loss of Ryan Clady. Lining up next to Sambrailo at left guard is fourth rounder Max Garcia. We thought he was coming to camp to compete at center after playing that position exclusively his senior year at Florida. The Broncos coaching staff however has been shifting the personnel almost daily, and now Garcia has landed at guard. He does have college experience playing the position, most recently his junior year in Gainesville.
And the offensive line youth movement doesn’t end there. 2014 draft pick Matt Paradis is listed as the starter at center. Paradis was a sixth round pick a year ago, but spent the entire season on the Broncos practice squad.
So, if you’re keeping score at home, that’s two rookies and a first-year player anchoring 3/5ths of the Broncos offensive line. That’s three players who have never taken a snap in a real NFL game.
Now will these guys be the starters come September when the games count? Impossible to say. Performances in the preseason, starting with Friday’s game in Seattle, will ultimately make that determination. But for the moment, Peyton Manning, who turned 39 this year, will have his blindside protected by three youngsters who weren’t even born until Manning was in high school.