The Denver Broncos ripped the band-aid off on Saturday, cutting the roster down to 53 players. The team made some extremely surprising cuts, two of which few saw coming, and even waived four former draft picks.
But the 53 is established. While the last few guys on the roster had better not get too comfortable, here's your first look at the Broncos' 53-man roster.
Drew Lock, Jeff Driskel.
The Broncos kept just two quarterbacks, risking Brett Rypien to the waiver wire. If he goes unclaimed, Rypien likely ends up back on the practice squad.
Running Backs (3)
Phillip Lindsay, Melvin Gordon, Royce Freeman
The Broncos kept three running backs, but the roster math depends on how you view Andrew Beck. If Beck is viewed as a fullback first, before a tight end, then the Broncos kept four backs. For now, I'm listing three.
Wide Receivers (7)
Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Tim Patrick, DaeSean Hamilton, Tyrie Cleveland, Diontae Spencer
The Broncos went heavy on wide receiver with all three draft picks making the initial 53. Cleveland earned his spot after really impressing in camp and Spencer is the returner. Carrying seven wideouts is unusual but it is a position of strength.
Tight Ends (5)
Noah Fant, Nick Vannett, Albert Okwuegbunam, Jake Butt, Andrew Beck
As I've been saying for months now, Butt stayed healthy and the Broncos were happy to carry him on the roster. The Broncos showed exceeding patience and long-suffering in their support of Butt and 2020 could finally be the year the team gets a return on that love.
Offensive Line (9)
Garett Bolles, Dalton Risner, Lloyd Cushenberry, Graham Glasgow, Elijah Wilkinson, Demar Dotson, Austin Schlottmann, Netane Muti, Calvin Anderson
Congrats are in order for Anderson, who might have been a longshot but got rewarded for his strong training camp. The rookie Muti also deserves some props. The Broncos kept four tackles and a couple of backup interior guys.
Defensive Line (6)
Jurrell Casey, Mike Purcell, Shelby Harris, Dre'Mont Jones, McTelvin Agim, DeMarcus Walker
Walker survives one last camp to hopefully finish his rookie contract with aplomb. Christian Covington got traded on Friday and DeShawn Williams cut on Saturday. Another position of strength for Denver.
Outside Linebackers (4)
Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Jeremiah Attaochu, Malik Reed
This could be a fearsome group if Chubb doesn't suffer any setbacks to his ACL recovery. Seventh-rounder Derrek Tuszka couldn't cut the mustard but might end up re-signed on the practice squad.
Inside Linebackers (5)
Alexander Johnson, Josey Jewell, Mark Barron, Austin Calitro, Joe Jones
Todd Davis was a surprising cut on Friday and Josh Watson got his walking papers on Saturday. Calitro is the newest of the two newcomers, arriving via trade from Cincinnati in that Covington trade. Johnson is going to have to be the man here because after him, it's a concerning depth chart. Trust in Vic Fangio, I guess.
A.J. Bouye, Bryce Callahan, Davontae Harris, Michael Ojemudia, Essang Bassey
This is another position that saw a surprise cut with De'Vante Bausby getting handed his walking papers. It was quite a shock, especially three days removed from trading Isaac Yiadom and considering Bausby had a great camp by all. An undrafted rookie in Bassey makes the 53 keeping the streak alive.
Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, Trey Marshall, Duke Dawson
Dawson is being kept as a safety but he can play corner. There are only three true safeties on the roster with the Broncos waiving Alijah Holder and rookie Douglas Coleman III.
Special Teams (3)
Brandon McManus, Sam Martin, Jacob Bobenmoyer
What more can I say? Bobenmoyer won his battle with Wes Farnsworth for long-snapping superiority.