Last Saturday night the Denver Broncos beat the Los Angles Rams 17-9 in their third preseason game.
Trevor Siemian started at quarterback in what appears to some to be the final nail in Mark Sanchez’s coffing. Sanchez did not take one snap the whole game.
Siemian’s first two possessions ended in consecutive 3 and outs, on 6 consecutive running plays. Kubiak said after the game, “I wanted to get the run game going early on but the Rams shut us down. Later on we got the run going pretty well with CJ and Ronnie Hillman.”
Preseason is all about testing the metal of every player, and Hillman and Sanchez are not the only players fighting for a spot on the team.
Several players, whose names you probably never heard, put in a good showing boosting their likelihood making the final 53 man roster.
The Broncos acquired Dakota Watson from the Patriots in the off season. The 6’2”, 240 pound linebacker is in his 7th season in the NFL. Miller got all the glory, but Watson was quietly the Broncos’ defensive MVP against Los Angeles.
Fighting for a roster spot, the veteran linebacker totaled a team-high 2.5 sacks, and also chipped in four tackles. He was a key in keeping the Rams out of the end zone, especially late in the game.
The praise for Watson was pretty widespread, which bodes well for his chances.
Sadat Sullleyman is a rookie free agent linebacker looking to make the team. Behind starters Brandon Marshall and Todd Davis are capable backups Watson and Zaire Anderson (seven tackles vs. Rams).
Behind them, potentially, is Sulleyman, who recorded two sacks and notched a forced fumble.
Sulleyman is far from a lock to survive the first round of cuts — let alone make the final 53 — but he put it all out there last night. Gotta respect that.
Even veteran Broncos are not immune from the chopping block.
Ronnie Hillman is fighting for a spot on the roster, despite being the team’s leading rusher. He came to play Saturday night, rushing for 45 yards on 5 carries and 1 touchdown.
The Broncos took a punter in round seven of this year’s draft, which was a bit of a surprise to a lot of people.
Britton Colquitt is undoubtedly losing sleep after watching rookie punter Riley Dixon do his stuff against the Rams.
Dixon punted exclusively while Colquitt warmed the bench. He popped eight punts for an average of 40.9 yards. He also displayed good directional accuracy.
Colquitt is an expensive luxury ($4 million cap number), and is being outplayed by a superior (and cheaper) special-teamer.
Don’t be surprised if Colquitt gets the axe in favor of Dixon.
Now that we’ve examined a few players who showed up to play, let’s project who will be looking in the classified come Tuesday, when the team has to pair down to 75 players in the first round of cuts.
First to face the guillotine will be Mark Sanchez. He’s still the same ol’ butt fumble.
Britton Colquitt. Sorry dude. Dixon is younger and cheaper.
DeVier Posey, WR Despite his familiarity with Kubiak, Posey is falling victim to the numbers game, as Denver is just stacked at wide receiver.
Shilo Keo a core special teamer and solid backup safety, but his February DUI — and subsequent two-game suspension — did him in.
If released, there’s a chance he’s re-signed during the season.
There will be more cuts than this coming but this is my best guess at who won’t be around come Tuesday.