Projected 2015 starters: Denver Broncos


Around The NFL predicts the Week 1 starting lineups for all 32 teams, analyzing the potential impact of each rookie class. See every breakdown here.

Broncos Projected Starters
  Offense Defense
  QB Peyton Manning DE Derek Wolfe
  RB C.J. Anderson NT Sylvester Williams
  WR1 Demaryius Thomas DE Malik Jackson
  WR2 Emmanuel Sanders OLB DeMarcus Ware
  TE Owen Daniels ILB Danny Trevathan
  FB James Casey ILB Brandon Marshall
  LT Ryan Clady OLB Von Miller
  LG Shelley Smith CB1 Chris Harris Jr.
  C Gino Gradkowski CB2 Aqib Talib
  RG Louis Vasquez SS T.J. Ward
  RT Chris Clark FS Darian Stewart

» It's a new world for the Broncos' offense under Gary Kubiak. Denver will bring the fullback to the rotation. Last year in Baltimore, Kubiak started Kyle Juszczyk in 14 games. We anticipate a similar approach as the Broncos attempt to harness the ground game that churned down the stretch in 2014. The issue for Kubiak is there is not a natural fullback on the roster. Some might slate Juwan Thompson in that role, but we're going with James Casey. The Denver staff has gushed about Casey recently. The last two seasons in Houston with Kubiak (2011, 2012) Casey played fullback for the Texans. A willing blocker with the ability to flex out and catch passes, Casey will give Peyton Manning options when audibling.

» When the Broncos do go to three-receiver sets, Cody Latimer will step in as the outside receiver, pushing Sanders inside. Denver needs Latimer to know the playbook this year and step up in his second season to help mitigate the loss of Julius Thomas.

» Bradley Roby will play a key role as the nickel back. The second-year corner will be on the field plenty after a solid rookie season, even if he doesn't crack the starting scorecard every week.

» With DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller entrenched as pass rushers, rookie Shane Ray was put in a perfect spot to succeed. Last season the Broncos pass rush began to wear down at the end of the season. Adding the relentless rookie rusher to the rotation should provide some pop.

» C.J. Anderson starts atop the running back depth chart and we expect him to stay there, despite declarations from Montee Ball.

» Rookie offensive lineman Max Garcia could push Gradkowski -- not a starting caliber player -- for the center job if he picks up the offense quickly.

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