AFC West: Jeremy Beal

Denver Broncos cut-down analysis

August, 31, 2013
Most significant move: It was a tough couple days for some of the Broncos' younger players. After retaining the bulk of their draft classes in the first two years on the job for John Elway and John Fox, the Broncos waived four former draft picks Saturday. Three were from the two Elway/Fox classes, when they trimmed the roster to 53 players.

Center/guard Philip Blake (fourth round in 2012), Jeremy Beal (seventh round in ’11), wide receiver Tavarres King (fifth round in ’13) and tackle Vinston Painter (sixth round in ’13) were all let go. King, who spent much of training camp and the preseason working with the second-team offense, likely lost his spot when the Broncos kept 11 defensive backs and three quarterbacks, including rookie Zac Dysert.

King and Painter are practice squad possibilities if they clear waivers.

“As you get better -- you never want to release anybody -- but as you get better, you have fewer slots,’’ Elway said. “That’s the situation that we’re running into.’’

Eleven's a crowd: In 2011, the first year of Elway’s tenure as the Broncos’ top football decision-maker, the Broncos kept nine defensive backs when they cut the roster to 53. Last year they kept 10 -- five cornerbacks, five safeties.

This year, with needs on special teams carrying the day, they kept 11 defensive backs, six cornerbacks and five safeties. The Broncos, like many teams in the league, have gone to more defensive backs on special teams, taking several jobs in coverage units that used to go to linebackers.

"You have to look at special teams too, what guys do on special teams," Elway said. "… So, those are the type things that a lot of people don’t think comes into the equation but what you do on fourth down is part of it."

As a result the Broncos are little light at wide receiver, with just five including returner Trindon Holliday. Holliday played just seven snaps on offense last season after joining the Broncos in October. They team will likely to expand his role slightly this season.

What's next: They are reasonably healthy after an offseason filled with drama, but it remains to be seen if they can consistently generate a pass rush without Miller and if they can consistently protect quarterback Peyton Manning when they play their preferred three-wide receiver look on offense.

But Elway likes the choices they made.

“The bottom line is we kept the best 53,’’ Elway said. “Everyone says you want to win now, and I say we want to win now on.’’

Broncos cuts/moves: RB Lance Ball, C/G C.J. Davis, RB Jeremiah Johnson, C/G Ryan Lilja, TE Jake O’Connell, DE Jeremy Beal, C/G Philip Blake, T Paul Cornick, DT Romney Fuga, DT Ben Garland, CB Aaron Hester, LB Damien Holmes, WR Tavarres King, T Vinston Painter, S Ross Rasner, WR Gerell Robinson, WR Lamaar Thomas, DE John Youboty. DE Quanterus Smith, LB Stewart Bradley, LB Lerentee McCray were placed on injured reserve. LB Von Miller was placed on reserve/suspended.
Say good-bye to the final piece of the Denver Broncos' three-player second round class of 2009.

Denver waived safety Darcel McBath on Sunday. To replace him Denver signed cornerback Jonathan Wilhite. Wilhite is a fourth-year player who had nine starts for the New England Patriots before being cut. He was a fourth-round pick from Auburn in 2008.

McBath was taken along with cornerback Alphonso Smith and tight end Richard Quinn in 2009, during Josh McDaniels’ first year in Denver. Denver traded its 2010 first-round pick in order to pick Smith.

Smith was traded to the Detroit Lions last season and Quinn was waived/injured this summer.

Denver also announced its eight-man practice squad. Here it is:

Player Pos. College Exp.

Jeremy Beal DE Oklahoma R

D'Andre Goodwin WR Washington R

Adam Grant T Arizona R

Jeremiah Johnson RB Oregon 2

Kyle McCarthy S Notre Dame 2

Eron Riley WR Duke 1

Austin Sylvester FB Washington R

Adam Weber QB Minnesota R

Putting a bow on Day Three

April, 30, 2011
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver plans to bring back veteran safety Brian Dawkins at this point. He may need to take a pay cut. New Denver coach John Fox loves veterans and Dawkins’ presence should help rookie safeties Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter.
  • Denver never took a defensive tackle, despite it being its greatest need. It’s no surprise Denver didn’t take a defensive tackle on Saturday. Once the second round passed, there weren’t many quality prospects available.
  • The rumor mill in Denver is already spinning a Kyle Orton-Albert Haynesworth trade. Washington needs a quarterback and Denver needs defensive tackle. Makes senses, would Denver want to pay Haynesworth?
  • Expect Denver’s starting linebacker crew to look this way: Von Miller at strongside linebacker, third-round pick Nate Irving in the middle and veteran D.J. Williams on the weakside.
  • Denver second-year quarterback Tim Tebow said he was pleased to hear Denver leader John Elway is behind him. Elway said Saturday that Denver will look at the top quarterbacks in every draft. Denver looked at the top eight quarterbacks this year without taking one. Fox, once again, said Orton is the starter as of now. Still, I expect Tebow to get the chance to play in 2011.
  • The Raiders took two receivers who played for former Oakland coach Lane Kiffin. They took Tennessee receiver Denarius Moore in the fifth round and USC receiver David Ausberry in the seventh round. Moore is fast, but he has issues with his hands. Ausberry is very big and he is an interesting prospect. Oakland has a lot of young receivers so these two players will have to work to make the team.
  • In his first draft, Elway took a player from Cal -- linebacker Mike Mohamed -- without taking a player from his alma mater. Mohamed, a candidate to play right away on special teams, said Elway noted that fact in a phone conversation Saturday.
  • Denver entered the draft wanting four immediate starters. It may have gotten five in Miller, Moore, Carter, Irving and right tackle Orlando Franklin.
  • Fox noted that Denver tight ends coach Clancy Barone was part of Antonio Gates’ development in San Diego. Barone is in charge of making fourth-round pick Julius Thomas an NFL player. He played one year of college football after playing college basketball. Gates played college basketball but not college football.
  • The Chiefs made an intriguing pick in the sixth round in defensive tackle Jerrell Powe of Mississippi. He fills a need for the Chiefs. He is the massive run plugger that the team has been seeking. He was considered a first-round possibility a year ago. He has stamina issues, but he could help in a limited role as a rookie.
  • Denver took Oklahoma defensive end Jeremy Beal, who was productive in college even though he didn’t test well at the combine. He had 28.5 sacks and 53.5 tackles for losses in college. That’s a steal in the final round.