53-man roster prediction for Broncos before final preseason game

The Denver Broncos are set to face the Los Angeles Rams in their preseason finale on Saturday evening. Three days after that game, Denver will trim the 90-man offseason roster down to a 53-man roster for the 2023 season.

With one preseason game remaining, here is our second-to-last 53-man roster prediction for the Broncos. We’ll have one more prediction before next Tuesday’s roster deadline.

Quarterback: 2

(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)

QB1: Russell Wilson
QB2: Jarrett Stidham

No surprises at quarterback. Ben DiNucci seems likely to land on the practice squad.

Running back: 3

(Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

RB1: Javonte Williams
RB2: Samaje Perine
RB3: Jaleel McLaughlin

McLaughlin is this year’s preseason fan favorite, and he’s probably done enough to make the team.

It wouldn’t be shocking if the Broncos end up carrying four running backs on the active roster and a fifth on the practice squad. For now, we have three RBs on the 53-man roster and one (or maybe even both) of Tyler Badie and Tony Jones landing on the practice squad. 

Tight end/fullback: 4

(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

TE1: Adam Trautman
TE2: Greg Dulcich
TE3: Chris Manhertz
FB: Michael Burton

Albert Okwuegbunam is the biggest name to be cut, but at this point it wouldn’t be surprising to see him let go. Nate Adkins will likely land on the practice squad as a backup for Burton, and Tommy Hudson could be a practice squad candidate as well. 

Wide receiver: 6

(Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)
(Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)

WR1: Jerry Jeudy
WR2: Courtland Sutton
WR3: Marvin Mims
WR4: Brandon Johnson
WR5: Marquez Callaway
WR6: Lil’Jordan Humphrey

After losing Tim Patrick and Jalen Virgil to season-ending injuries and KJ Hamler for at least several weeks, Denver’s wide receiver room is a little easier to predict.

Montrell Washington, Kendall Hinton and Taylor Grimes will likely be candidates for the practice squad. 

Offensive line: 9

(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

IOL: Quinn Meinerz, Ben Powers, Lloyd Cushenberry
OT Mike McGlinchey, Garrett Bolles, Cam Fleming
OL: Quinn Bailey, Luke Wattenberg, Alex Forsyth

No big surprises here. Alex Palczewski has impressed this summer, so it wouldn’t be a shock if he makes the active roster. If he doesn’t make the 53, Palczewski will undoubtedly be a top target for the practice squad. Isaiah Prince and Kyle Fuller will also likely be practice squad candidates. 

Defensive line: 6

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

DE: Zach Allen, Matt Henningsen
NT: D.J. Jones, Mike Purcell
DE: Jonathan Harris, Elijah Garcia

Garcia is one of the big winners of preseason and he now appears to be a lock to make the team after beginning camp seemingly on the roster bubble. Tyler Lancaster could make his way onto the initial 53, but he’s probably on the bubble. PJ Mustipher will likely be a practice squad candidate. 

Outside linebacker: 5

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

OLB1: Randy Gregory, Nik Bonitto
OLB2: (Baron Browning), Jonathon Cooper, Frank Clark

Browning is currently on the physically unable to perform list, but he’ll be on the 53 once he’s healthy. Undrafted rookies Marcus Haynes and Thomas Incoom will both be strong candidates for the practice squad. Christopher Allen was a promising undrafted prospect last year, but he’s been buried on the depth chart this summer. 

Inside linebacker: 4

(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

ILB1: Josey Jewell, Drew Sanders
ILB2: Alex Singleton, Justin Strnad

Jonas Griffith’s injury opens the door for Strnad to stick around as the fourth inside linebacker. Austin Ajiake has also impressed this summer and if the Broncos carry five ILBs, Ajiake will have a strong case. Seth Benson should be a potential practice squad target. 

Cornerback: 6

(Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images)

CB1: Pat Surtain, Ja’Quan McMillian
Slot: K’Waun Williams, Essang Bassey
CB2: Damarri Mathis, Riley Moss

Tremon Smith will have a dead money cap hit near $2 million if he’s cut, but McMillian seems to be a lock to make the team and Bassey has impressed during preseason. Undrafted rookie Art Green will likely be a practice squad target. 

Safety: 5

(AP Photo/Ben VanHouten)
(AP Photo/Ben VanHouten)

FS: Justin Simmons, P.J. Locke
SS: Caden Sterns, Kareem Jackson, JL Skinner

No surprises at safety. Delarrin Turner-Yell could end up making the team as a key special teams player, but it would be hard to carry six safeties on the 53-man roster. Turner-Yell lands on the practice squad in this prediction. 

Special teams: 3

(Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)
(Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)

K: Wil Lutz (predicted acquisition)
P: Riley Dixon
LS: Mitchell Fraboni

Brett Maher is the only kicker currently on the roster but Sean Payton has said multiple times this offseason that Maher is competing with other kickers who could become available during roster cuts. This prediction has Denver landing Lutz, either via trade with the Saints or off the waiver wire.

Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire