First Broncos depth chart features three young starters on offensive line
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Depending on how optimistic or pessimistic you are, there was reason to celebrate the future or cause for concern after the Denver Broncos released their first depth chart of the season on Monday.
Three players who have never played an NFL down were listed as starters on the Broncos’ offensive line, including rookies Ty Sambrailo and Max Garcia as well as Matt Paradis, a 2014 sixth-round draft pick by the Broncos who spent the past season on the team’s practice squad.
Garcia, a fourth-round draft pick earlier this year, was listed as the starter at left guard above Ben Garland, who had worked with the first team for the majority of the offseason. Paradis was listed as the starter at center above Gino Gradkowski, who also had worked with the first team for most of the offseason.
Sambrailo, a highly-touted second-round draft pick out of Colorado State, was officially dubbed the starter at left tackle. He has spent the majority of time with the first team at that position after Pro Bowler Ryan Clady suffered a torn ACL in late May.
Sambrailo and Garcia are currently protecting the blindside of 39-year-old Peyton Manning, while Paradis is handling the quarterback-center exchange in a year when Manning is expected to be back under center far more often in new head coach Gary Kubiak’s offense.
Broncos president John Elway criticized the team following a lackluster playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts last season for “not going out kicking and screaming.” The team and past head coach John Fox mutually agreed to part ways in the offseason, and Kubiak was brought in to instill a more hard-nosed mentally.
Part of that new approach will include running the football more often, and the Broncos’ revamped offensive line will be a key cog in that effort.
It may then come as no surprise that the only other notable shakeup in the starting lineup in the Broncos’ first depth chart Monday was also on the offensive line. Offseason addition Ryan Harris was named the early starter at right tackle in front of Chris Clark, the team’s starter at that position a season ago.
Clark was shifted to left tackle after the injury to Clady, and was listed as the backup to Sambrailo at that position on Monday.
Click here for a full look at the team’s first depth chart.