There is still a lot of time before the Denver Broncos narrow their 90-man roster down to the final 53. The position battles will work themselves out with mini-camps, OTAs, training camp, and even the preseason.
However, even with all that time to figure out who's who, it's safe to say the Broncos' roster will have plenty of fresh faces. With a new coaching staff coming in, many of the previous coaching staff's favorite players could find themselves suddenly untethered and on the outside looking in.
These players will have their chances, but if the battle is close, the new staff will go with its guy over the old staff's fave. That could open the way for many fresh faces to make the roster.
Who are some of the favorites of the old guard, and why are they likely on the outside looking in?
Jonathan Harris | DL
When looking at favorites of the old staff, Harris stands out. Vic Fangio worked with him in Chicago and then brought him to Denver and kept developing him. Even though Bill Kollar is part of the staff and was the one mainly working with Harris, there is a new defensive line coach named Marcus Dixon.
In his limited action, Harris never showed enough to justify Denver sticking with him, which would have to change for the new staff.
Tyrie Cleveland | WR
As a seventh-round pick in 2020, Cleveland has managed to contribute on special teams and offered some minor offense contributions. Denver seems to have it top-four receivers cemented in, leaving a battle for one receiver spot and a return specialist.
Though Cleveland does offer up returner ability, it's telling that Denver never turned to him there. He managed to stick with the old staff, but in fierce competition and not doing enough to stand out, the old regime's draft pick could be on the way out.
Netane Muti | OG
The reasons for Muti are simple. Mike Munchak was part of why Denver drafted Muti, and now the coach is gone. Muti was a good fit for the old scheme, but the changes upfront are not favorable to him.
A new scheme, new coaches, and not having the front office that drafted him could put him on the outside.
Quinn Bailey | OT
Bailey was a Munchak project and has not been able to work his way up from where he started on the depth chart. As the new staff made moves to better the offensive tackle depth, it's a bad sign for Bailey.
Mike Purcell | DL
There is no versatility with Purcell on the defensive line, and that isn't a good thing. The Broncos effectively replaced him with free-agent pickup D.J. Jones, who does have a little more versatility. Unfortunately, Denver won't have enough defensive sets that'll put Purcell and Jones on the field at the same time to justify Purcell's cost.
The old coaching staff was an outspoken fan of Purcell, and he is one you root for. However, the business side of football and the new coaching staff could mean a change of scenery is coming for the big man.
Malik Reed | OLB
This is the one that will likely catch the most heat, but Reed is not nearly as good as his production suggests. However, he has plenty of experience, making him a good piece for the trade market, potentially.
Denver's top three edger ushers are all cemented in, barring an unexpected trade of Bradley Chubb, and there are only two spots left open. Jonathon Cooper has shown enough and was a draft pick of the current front office, and there has been praise from GM George Paton for Aaron Patrick as well.
Reed seems to be on his way out without the old staff, suggesting how hesitant the Broncos were to place the original-round restricted free-agent tender on him. However, the lack of interest from other teams could make it hard to trade him.
Reed's experience may be enough to keep him around in Denver, but that is it.
Essang Bassey | DB
Bassey seemed like an attempt from Fangio at finding his next Bryce Callahan, but that has failed miserably. Bassey saw a fair amount of action as a rookie before tearing his ACl and it left a lot to be desired.
The new staff doesn't have much connection to Bassey and brought in plenty of options to replace him.
Brett Rypien | QB
Rypien was a favorite for the old staff because of his football IQ, which is something to value. However, the Broncos only have three quarterbacks on the roster, and they very likely could keep them all on the 53-man roster.
So Rypien probably has better chances to stick with the new staff, but they could also keep two quarterbacks and hope to sneak Rypien on the practice squad.
Andrew Beck | FB/TE
The old coaching staff seemed to love having Beck around as a fullback, but he only garnered 55 snaps on offense, and mostly was a special teams player. However, there was an effort to better the special teams unit, and Beck wasn't exactly a good special teams player.
In addition, his role on offense is easy to replace, which can be done with rookie third-rounder Greg Dulcich, free-agent pickup Eric Tomlinson, or the recently re-signed Eric Saubert, depending on different situations. So there isn't much by way of necessity to keep Beck around going forward.
Justin Strnad | LB
Strnad was a Day 3 pick of the old front office and it was made with the old coaching staff in mind. When the team had to turn to him last year as a starter after Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson got injured, Strnad looked out of place.
It was rough for Strnad on the field, and he no longer has those who drafted him in his corner. With what Paton and the new coaching staff have done at linebacker, it likely spells the end for Strnad's time in Denver.
Barrington Wade | LB
Wade was brought in at the start of August last year and only saw the field on special teams. There is a question of whether the Wade addition was a move by Paton to pacify Fangio or not.
If it was, then Wade is likely on the outside looking in. If he wasn't, then there could be a chance to stick on the practice squad, but the roster is unlikely either way.
Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel.
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