Broncos Need More Out of LG Ben Powers in 2024

It's time to examine Ben Powers' outlook in 2024.
Oct 1, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Denver Broncos guard Ben Powers (74) takes the field before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 1, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Denver Broncos guard Ben Powers (74) takes the field before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
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The Denver Broncos made multiple splashes along their offensive line in Sean Payton’s first year with the team. Not only did the Broncos sign right tackle Mike McGlinchey, but they also landed offensive guard Ben Powers, who was coming off the best year of his career in Baltimore.

There were some concerns about Powers due to the nature of the Baltimore Ravens offense, but multiple statistics and advanced metrics reveal that he was still one of the better guards in the NFL for the 2022 season. 

As the 2023 season approached, the pressure was on Powers to maintain his high standards. After all, he had ranked second in Pro Football Focus' pass-blocking grades and third in fewest pressures allowed among guards with at least 680 blocking snaps. The team and fans, who had high hopes for him, were hopeful that he would continue to excel. 

Interestingly, Powers' run-blocking grade wasn’t as impressive, ranking 41st out of 48 guards. However, a closer look at his 2022 season revealed a different story.

Facing unique challenges in the Ravens offense, Powers was much better as a run blocker than the grade suggested. His run blocking, a key aspect of his game that many in the NFL admired, was overshadowed by concerns about his pass protection. This discrepancy in his grades and the popular opinion on Powers can be attributed to the Ravens' unique offense, led by Lamar Jackson. 

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Looking back on the 2023 season, it's clear that Powers didn’t quite live up to the four-year, $52 million contract the Broncos had invested in him. He wasn’t a liability on the offensive line, but they had expected more from him. PFF viewed Powers better as a run blocker, where his grade ranked 26th out of 49, but his pass-blocking grade ranked 29th out of 54, while he was credited with the 23rd-most pressures allowed. 

The good news is that 13 of the 31 pressures Powers allowed were between two games, one early in the season against the Washington Commanders, and the other against the Buffalo Bills. There was no other game on the season where he was credited with more than three pressures allowed.

Powers displayed solid consistency in his first year as a Bronco, outside of those two games. His run-blocking was solid throughout the season. There's been some debate on the pass-blocking side, and about how much Russell Wilson's play affected Powers and the offensive line as a unit. 

Earlier this offseason, the Broncos restructured the Powers contract, which almost certainly keeps him in Denver through the 2025 season. The team could still cut him, but that would result in a $15.2 million dead-cap hit. A post-June 1 cut would spread the dead money, but still, most likely, Powers will be a Bronco until after the 2025 season, at least. 

Undoubtedly, the Broncos need more out of Powers, and he has two years to show that his fourth year is worth keeping him around for. If the Broncos can get more consistency out of the quarterback position, it can help the Powers be even more consistent with his pass protection.

What Denver needs the most, though, is Powers to be more consistent as a run blocker. If the Broncos can get that out of him, they could end up with one of the better running games in the NFL. 

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Erick Trickel


Erick Trickel is the Senior Draft Analyst for Mile High Huddle, has covered the Denver Broncos, NFL, and NFL Draft for the site since 2014.