Broncos RB Jamaal Charles took part in "light drills" with RBs coach Eric Studesville and the position group, according to The Denver Post. Charles still said he doesn't plan to do much at OTAs, and we'll need to see what Charles looks like in full action this summer. But it's a good sign for the veteran back that he's at least healthy enough for some level of participation in such early workouts.
The Broncos plan on deploying a RB-by-committee this season. “You need two or three guys that can carry the load," HC Vance Joseph said from OTAs on Monday. "It is no longer a one-guy position." Denver has built up some backfield depth this offseason by drafting De'Angelo Henderson and signing Jamaal Charles. They join returnees C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker. Anderson will head to training camp as the favorite for touches, but we'll be keeping an eye on how the work will be divvied. You can currently land Anderson in the 5th round of MFL10s, which feels like a fair price.
The Broncos are "very high" on TE A.J. Derby, according to Andrew Mason of the team's official website. Denver acquired Derby from the Patriots in exchange for a 5th-round pick last October. He totaled 16 catches on 20 targets for 160 yards in 6 appearances for the Broncos. Nine of those grabs came in the final 2 games. Mason suggests that Denver plans on using Derby in the passing game out of the slot. He's a name to watch this summer and could turn into a late-round sleeper.
Broncos HC Vance Joseph said Friday that the team is targeting camp time for getting a full look at RB Jamaal Charles. "We're hoping to get Jamaal full speed by training camp," Joseph said, per ESPN.com. "He's going to obviously rehab and have time to get healthy the entire OTAs and the entire summer. So, our goal for Jamaal is to have him on the field during training camp." Don't overlook the fact that Charles still needs rehab time. The Chiefs said they released him after a failed physical, and Charles spent last year dealing with issues in both knees. Seattle also had him in for a visit but chose Eddie Lacy instead. If he does make it all the way back, there's opportunity to emerge as Denver's top back. But there's also a chance that Charles is done. It'll be an interesting summer.
The Broncos have agreed to a 1-year deal with RB Jamaal Charles. Per insider Mike Klis, the contract has a base value of $900K. Charles can earn up to $3.75 million in game-day roster incentives. The 30-year-old missed all but 3 games last year after dealing with complications from his 2015 torn ACL. Charles also tore his ACL back in 2011. He’s reportedly 90% recovered from his latest surgery and has been cleared to practice. It remains completely unclear, though, exactly what he has left in the tank. We’ll be keeping a close eye on Charles this summer. If anywhere close to pre-injury form, he could push for Denver's lead job.
The Broncos closed out the 2017 NFL Draft by drafting Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly at the end of Round 7. NFL Network's Mike Mayock called Kelly a 1st- or 2nd-round pick "all day" without his off-field issues. In Denver, he'll enter an interesting QB situation. Trevor Siemian will again compete with 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch under new HC Vance Joseph. There's at least the chance that Lynch never pans out and Kelly works past Siemian. That makes Kelly worth considering at the end of rookie drafts in dynasty leagues, if you're not fired up about the other available talent.
The Broncos nabbed Coastal Carolina RB De'Angelo Henderson in the 6th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Built like a fire-hydrant at 5'7 and 208 pounds, Henderson runs with a low center of gravity, strong leg drive and good burst. He clocked a 4.48-second 40 time at the Combine, although he finished with a 26th percentile SPARQ score. Henderson was a stat-piling machine at Coastal Carolina, totaling 4,635 yards and 58 scores on 721 carries (6.4 YPC) over the last 4 years. He also caught 97 balls and averaged 9.5 yards per catch. Henderson is making a huge jump up in competition and is a long shot for 2017 fantasy value. But neither C.J. Anderson nor Devontae Booker has locked up the long-term starting job in Denver.
The Broncos grabbed Michigan TE Jake Butt with the 1st pick of the 5th round. Butt’s college career was marred by a pair of right ACL tears — the 1st as a freshman back in 2013 and the 2nd this past December. Those sandwiched a productive career that saw him post a 51-654-3 line in 2015 and a 46-546-4 in 12 games last season. The senior-year performance earned him the John Mackey Award as the nation’s top TE. Butt wasn’t able to work out in the pre-draft process but looks like a mediocre athlete on film. (He averaged a middling 11.9 yards per catch at Michigan.) But he has good size at 6’5, 246 pounds, is an advanced route runner and has strong hands. He profiles as a shorter-range target in the pros. Think Heath Miller. Butt said back in March that he could be rehabbing the latest torn ACL until anywhere from July to October. Don’t expect a fantasy impact this year, but this could be Denver’s starting TE by 2018.
The Broncos used the 82nd overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft to land WR Carlos Henderson. The Louisiana Tech product is the best after-the-catch WR in this draft class — both on tape and by the numbers. He combines acceleration, change-of-direction, tackle-breaking ability and speed to gain chunk yardage with the ball in his hands. He forced 48 missed tackles last year, according to Pro Football Focus — 20 more than any WR since PFF started tracking the stat in 2014. Henderson is less proven before he gets the ball, but he does flash some ball skills. And he has the athleticism to develop into a plus route runner. The 5’11, 199-pounder has Jarvis Landry-esque potential. Henderson has a shot to quickly become Denver’s #3 WR and could eventually develop into a #2.
Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas conceded to The Denver Post this week that a hip issue bothered him for much of last season. “It was tough. Sometimes I couldn’t stop. Sometimes I couldn’t run certain routes that I wanted to run. Sometimes I couldn’t get off press (coverage) because I had no power in it,” Thomas said. “It wasn’t my excuse. I was out there trying to help my teammates out and trying to make it not look bad on my part.” He didn't miss any games, but Thomas did post a career low in yards per reception, along with his fewest catches and TDs in his 5 seasons as a full-time starter. Thomas had no surgery in the offseason but said that the hip feels great right now. He also intimated that a hit to the wrong spot could force a recurrence. There's bounce-back potential as long as Thomas' offseason continues to go well, and he's going in value range in early drafting. We'll certainly keep an eye on the hip into the season.
Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas is happy to have OC Mike McCoy back in the building. DT played under McCoy from 2010 to 2012. That final season produced a breakout 94-1,434-10 line -- albeit with Peyton Manning under center. Thomas is especially excited to get the ball in his hands more often on WR screens. Those helped him rank 2nd among WRs with 561 yards after the catch back in 2012. That number sunk to 336 last year -- 25th at his position. Still in his prime at 29, Thomas is certainly capable of matching or even besting last year's 16th-place PPR finish this season. He's been the 19th WR off the board in recent MFL10 drafts.
Broncos HC Vance Joseph said Monday that RB C.J. Anderson (knee) is ready for the start of OTAs. He's about 5-and-a-half months removed from surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Anderson mustered just 4.0 yards per carry in 7 games before going down last year. But RB Devontae Booker was worse, averaging 3.5 for the season. Denver only added RB Bernard Pierce in free agency. We'll see what they do in the draft. For now, Anderson is the favorite for lead-back duties.
Broncos HC Vance Joseph said this week that it's not yet clear whether RB C.J. Anderson will be ready for spring OTAs. “I’m not sure,’’ Joseph said, per ESPN's Jeff Legwold. “He’s working in that direction. He’s there every day working, so hopefully. But, he’s a veteran player. If he’s working in OTAs in the middle part of it, we’ll be fine with him in the fall.’’ Anderson had October surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. We'll keep an eye on his offseason progress, though returning by training camp will be much more significant than any OTA action he might or might not see. Anderson's RB16 price in early MFL10 drafting looks too high, however.
What was originally believed to be a Grade 3 shoulder separation for Broncos QB Trevor Siemian turned out to be a Grade 5 injury. When he went under the knife in January, his doctor discovered torn ligaments where the clavicle, scapula and AC joint connect. Siemian was slapped with a 4-6 month recovery timeline but still expects to be ready for the start of OTAs in May. He's slated to compete for the starting job with 2016 first-rounder Paxton Lynch. It's certainly worth noting that Siemian played through the serious shoulder injury for much of this past season after it occurred in Week 4.
The Chiefs have released RB Jamaal Charles, saving $6.2 million against the 2017 cap. A fantasy stud from 2009-2014, Charles has appeared in just 8 games over the past 2 seasons. He tore his right ACL in 2015, struggled to get back on the field this year and then had surgery on the menisci in both knees in November. Charles turned 30 in December. If his knees are right, he shouldn't have trouble finding a job this offseason. But his days as a lead back are likely over.
The Broncos have hired Mike McCoy as their new OC. It's a homecoming after McCoy spent the 2009-2012 seasons in the same role. His QBs during that stretch ranged from Kyle Orton to Tim Tebow to Peyton Manning. McCoy was able to coax top-15 finishes in total yards and passing yards out of the Orton-led squads. With Tebow in 2011, Denver ranked 1st in rushing attempts and yards but 31st in passing and 23rd in total offense. McCoy's 2012 season with Manning produced a #4 finish in total yards and #2 in points. McCoy struggled as the Chargers' HC for the past 4 years, producing a 27-37 record (although injuries did him no favors). All 4 of those squads led by QB Philip Rivers ranked top 10 in passing yards. McCoy is widely regarded as 1 of the better offensive minds in the game, so this is a nice hire for Denver. He seems to lean toward a pass-heavy attack but has shown the willingness and ability to adjust his scheme. We'll see what he has in mind for this Broncos attack.
The Broncos have hired Vance Joseph as their new HC. The 44-year-old spent the 2016 season as the Dolphins' defensive coordinator after numerous stops as a defensive backs coach in both college and the pros. We'll see who he brings aboard to run the offense.
Broncos QB Trevor Siemian will undergo surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder this week. “It’s optional surgery," Siemian said. “It really only bothers me when I work out but I figure I’m going to have to keep working out for a while so I’m getting it fixed." He's expected to be ready for the start of the offseason program in April, so this shouldn't be something that impacts his 2017 outlook. Siemian will battle with Paxton Lynch (and perhaps an offseason addition) for the starting job this summer.
Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders suffered a foot injury in the 1st half of Sunday's game against the Raiders and will not return. He went without a catch before exiting. We should get an update on Sanders' injury tomorrow.
Broncos LB Brandon Marshall (hamstring) is inactive for today's game against the Raiders. He's a weak IDP option, though. S T.J. Ward was previously ruled out with a concussion.
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