Oct. 03, 2016
Grading the Denver Broncos: Offensive Line
The Denver Broncos had one of the worst offensive lines in the entire NFL last season, which lead to the team spending some serious money bringing in Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson in the off season. This season, yet again, the Broncos had a slightly improved line that is still one of the worst in the league.
If a grade could be given to the offensive line it could easily be in the D+ range, however given the benefit of finding a star on the line in Matt Paradis I give the o-line a C- grade. Trevor Siemian was seemingly under pressure every single time he dropped back to pass and the team never found a solid run game all season partly due to the line. The money spent on Okung and Stephenson as of right now was a major waste, with Okung under performing in a big way and Stephenson being one of the worst lineman in the league right now.
Now, while the tackles played poorly the guards played a bit better and Matt Paradis played at an elite level but has done so a bit under the radar due to the awful play of everyone else. In pass protection the guards: Max Garcia and Michael Schofield held their own with the help of Paradis while still getting beat more than average Paradis limited some heavy pressures most of the season. Garcia and Schofield while having some very poor moments in the season showed some very serious upside and potential, but that may not help when Elway decides to gut the line this off season.
The Broncos found some success in Matt Paradis who is a phenomenal pass protector and run blocker, Paradis was effective in doubling on the inside, moving up field and pulling off the edge. While as a whole the line was horrible in pass protection, the line was not so bad in run situation. The run game was limited to a De'Vonte Booker a rookie who was nothing less than inconsistent and should improve going forward, and when CJ Anderson returns from his injury next season.
If the Broncos want to contend for the Super Bowl next season they are going to have to beef up the offensive line and form some type of protection for whoever is going to start at quarterback. With the emergence of Paradis they have something to build around and develop going into next season.