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Broncos Camp: 9 Risers & 8 Fallers Through 10 Days

Training camp is in full swing for the Denver Broncos. Some players are helping their case to make the roster, while others are hurting it.
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Every year, NFL players audition to make a roster in training camp, which is happening right now with the Denver Broncos. There have been many unexpected Broncos really making a jump forward as they push for a spot. But, of course, for every player rising, there has to be one falling.

The 'fallers' could be at risk of losing their roster spot and it could be happening for multiple reasons. It isn’t always just a guy's play in practice, but it could also be because of injuries. After all, if one player impresses while another is unable to practice, it doesn’t bode well for the one sidelined.

With the Broncos being 10 practices into training camp, the team is set to travel to Minnesota for their joint practices against the Vikings this week. Two weeks into camp, player performances are beginning to crystallize. 

What players are being pushed down as a result of those rising? There is still a lot of time left and all three preseason games, so a lot can still change but here's how things stand currently. 

Riser: Trinity Benson | WR

Denver Broncos wide receiver Trinity Benson (12) during training camp at the UCHealth Training Center.

What Benson had done as a receiver should very well known at this point. Every day he's been making big plays for the offense, and it didn’t really matter who he was going against. He quickly became a favorite target for the quarterbacks because he was consistent and reliable.

In a recent practice, he got an opportunity as a kick returner and really showed up there. The first step is fielding the kick cleanly, and that wasn’t a problem for him as it had been in previous years. Showing that he can contribute to special teams is a big step to making the roster.

Faller: Diontae Spencer | WR

Diontae Spencer

Spencer missed the practice that opened the way for Benson to get reps as a kick returner. That does not bode well for Spencer, a return specialist, and if a player can show more on offense while not being a major drop-off on special teams, his spot is at risk. However, that is exactly what Benson did as a kick returner, and if Benson wins the returner job, it's unlikely the Broncos would keep Spencer as a punt returner only.

Spencer still has plenty of time to make a push back for the roster, including the preseason games. However, he has a lot he needs to show, including more to offer on offense. The Broncos have made it clear they want more from Spencer, and he has to get around to showing it once he is back practicing.

Riser: Kendall Hinton | WR

Denver Broncos wide receiver Kendall Hinton (2) during training camp at the UCHealth Training Center.

As a depth receiver, Hinton is the only other standout besides Benson. Hinton's reliability on shorter throws, and making something out of them, is valuable, and he has even shown some special teams ability. The question is, will that be enough?

It may be hard for the Broncos to leave Hinton off of the roster as things stand right now. He brings something to the offense that no one else really does. Every opportunity he has gotten, he has made the most out of it.

Faller: Tyrie Cleveland | WR

Denver Broncos wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (16) warms up before a game against the New Orleans Saints at Empower Field at Mile High.

This is pretty simple as Benson and Hinton have stood out, the opposite is true for Cleveland. In the first five practices, Cleveland dropped at least one pass each time, and many of them were big plays. Then he got hurt, and after the rough start, that may be enough to keep him off the roster with Benson and Hinton shining as much as they are.

Riser: Rojesterman Farris | CB

It was an immediate impact from Farris as he signed with the team on August 2, had his first practice the following day, and made multiple big plays. In his first three practices, he had two interceptions and multiple pass breakups. As the week continued, Farris continued making plays as he quickly rose the depth chart some.

Faller: Kary Vincent, Jr. | CB

When the camp first started, Vincent was on the COVID/reserve list. After a while, he came off of it, only to get hurt after just a few reps and has missed time since. As someone competing for a sixth corner spot, missing a lot of time only hurts your chances.

Riser(s): McTelvin Agim/Marquiss Spencer | DL

Both of these young defensive linemen have really stood out and deserve to make this list. While Agim is pretty much set to make the roster, Spencer is a rookie seventh-rounder and borderline but he's made a strong push for it. It is unfortunate that Spencer got hurt, making it a must that he stands out when he comes back to practice.

In the case of Agim, he has shown consistent and reliable play out there on the field. He has really controlled his opponents against the run and done well as a pass rusher. However, his best work has come getting his hands up to tip passes after he seemingly attended the Shelby Harris school of batted balls.

As for Spencer, he really was standing out and showing tremendous growth from even mini-camps and OTAs. He was fighting for the sixth spot on the defensive line before he got hurt. It may be enough to keep him from it, which means he has to come back and practice like he didn’t miss anything and still stand out.

Faller: Shamar Stephen | DL

The veteran defensive line addition from the Vikings is just another guy. There isn’t anything special about Stephen, and he has shown that in camp. However, as Agim and Spencer stand out and show progress, it has without a doubt strained the veteran's chances of making the roster.

Riser: Mike Boone | RB

The veteran running back has essentially cemented himself as the No. 3 running back. He has been praised for his speed and that when he sees a hole, he gets through it so quickly. With Boone, the Broncos would really have a dynamic complementary trio at running back.

Faller: Royce Freeman | RB

It feels as if Freeman’s time with the Broncos is close to coming to an end. He has done well in practice so far, but he is clearly behind others on the roster. There is a decent chance Freeman will get a shot with another team in the NFL on their roster this season.

Riser: Caden Sterns | S

The rookie safety has shown a lot in practices so far, especially how quickly he picked up the playbook and can do whatever was needed. He is always around the ball, making big plays for the defense, and quickly earned first-team reps. However, there is one concern with his play that needs to be answered in preseason games: his tackling ability.

Faller: Trey Marshall | S

The Broncos look like they may have depth at safety with so many stepping up. Marshall has done well in practice, but with Sterns, Jamar Johnson, and P.J. Locke either showing more or having potential, it doesn’t bode well for Marshall. He has to really step it up and not fall behind the other safeties.

Riser: Calvin Anderson | OT

While he seems to be falling behind Bobby Massie for the starting job, Anderson has separated from the other tackles on the roster. Getting a lot of first-team right tackle reps and second-team left tackle reps, it looks like he is poised to be the backup swing tackle.

Faller: Cameron Fleming | OT

Fleming was brought in for added competition for the starting right tackle job, but that seems out of reach for him. After missing a lot of time with an injury, he seems to be clearly in the third spot for the job. Now it seems like Fleming is just competing for a depth position on the offensive line.

Riser: Andre Mintze | OLB

While he hasn’t been the most impressive rookie edge rusher for the Broncos, he has been quite impressive. There have been signs of development, especially against the run, as Mintze pushes for the roster. If he doesn’t make the roster, it wouldn’t be surprising to make the practice squad.

Faller: Derrek Tuszka | OLB

While Mintze and even Jonathon Cooper have stood out for the Broncos, Tuszka hasn’t really shown much. There haven’t been clear signs of development displayed in practice so far. While Tuszka is unlikely to make the roster, barring a large shift in performance, he now needs to start fighting for a practice squad spot.

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