ENGLEWOOD—If a certain baseball rule were applied to the Denver Broncos’ first depth chart of 2017, a tie would go to Trevor Siemian.
As expected, the Broncos listed their quarterback position with Siemian OR Paxton Lynch as their first-string quarterback. A tie for first.
But considering Siemian is the incumbent starter and has outplayed Lynch during training camp so far, it’s perhaps significant he is listed first; Lynch second. Broncos general manager John Elway cautioned in an interview Saturday night with 9News that the starting quarterback would be picked based on how Siemian and Lynch perform in the preseason, which starts Thursday night at Chicago (6 p.m. kickoff, Channel 20).
Joseph reiterated his boss' position.
“I want to get to the games so we can get to the bottom of this,'' Joseph said.
Kyle Sloter, the undrafted rookie from Northern Colorado, is the third string quarterback along with Chad Kelly, who is listed in parenthesis because of injury.
Other noteworthy developments from the depth chart:
*First-round rookie Garett Bolles is officially listed as the first-string left tackle with Ty Sambrailo on the second team.
“We’ve watched the spring. We watched the first two weeks of training camp and he’s played well,'' said Broncos head coach Vance Joseph. "In my opinion, he’s earned the right to start the game. With that being said, we’re still competing there with Donald [Stephenson] and Ty. He’s played well enough to start the game on Thursday.”
*C.J. Anderson is the No. 1 running back with Devontae Booker in parenthesis at No. 2. Booker will miss the first game or three of the regular season because of a fractured right wrist.
“We placed the guys that are injured in the spot they would be in if they weren’t injured,'' Joseph said. "‘Book’ finished the spring as number two; he had a hell of a spring. Book was pushing to be the top guy. He’s still number two. He’s going to return probably Week 1 or 2 during the regular season. Right now, he’s two on the depth chart but obviously he’s not playing so he can’t be two. That’s my point with the depth chart. It’s just a starting point for our football team to know who’s slotted where, but he won’t play in the entire preseason. Is he two? Or is he not?”
Jamaal Charles leads the bunch of third-stringers which also include Stevan Ridley, rookie De’Angelo Henderson, Juwan Thompson and Bernard Pierce.
Don’t read too much into this depth chart listing. Charles remains on pace to begin the season with the Broncos and get 10 to 15 touches a game. Joseph said Charles would get some playing time in the preseason, although probably not Thursday against the Bears.
“We have a plan for Jamaal,'' Joseph said. "I won’t reveal that yet. But, he’s going to play in the preseason.”
*Bennie Fowler is the backup receiver to Demaryius Thomas and Cody Latimer is No. 2 to Emmanuel Sanders. There is no slot, or No. 3 receiver listed on the depth chart. Jordan Taylor and rookie Isaiah McKenzie head the group of third-stringers.
*Newly signed veteran Allen Barbre is the No. 2 left guard behind Max Garcia. Michael Schofield, who started the past two seasons at right tackle and right guard, respectively, is listed as the No. 3 left guard in what may be the most deceiving placement on the chart. Schofield’s versatility – he has played left tackle, left guard, right guard and right tackle – makes him unique among offensive linemen.
*Jared Crick remains a first-string defensive end opposite Derek Wolfe, with Adam Gotsis listed as Crick’s backup.
*At the strongside linebacker position opposite Von Miller, Shane Ray is No. 1 and Shaq Barrett is No. 2 with both players in parenthesis because of injuries. Moving further down the depth chart, Kasim Edebali, a free agent from the New Orleans Saints, and Vontarrius Dora are listed with the third string. In that order.
*At right cornerback, rookie Brendan Langley is the backup to Chris Harris Jr. Lorenzo Doss is third string.
“I would say this about the depth chart, it’s a starting point,'' Joseph said. "Those two guys are competing for that fourth corner spot which is a big deal for our football team. They’re one snap from being a starter on sub. What went into that were the spring drills and the training camp practices thus far. That’s what’s determined that he’s (Langley) ahead of him (Doss) right now, but Doss has played well. He’s (Doss) made a lot of plays and Langley has a long way to go as far as learning what to do as an NFL corner.
"It’s open. The depth chart was a must. I had to put someone there. Whoever I would’ve had put there, it would have been questioned. It’s just part of the process. The final depth chart will be out versus the Chargers. That’s the one that really matters. The rest, it’s a depth chart. Somebody has to go first, second and third.”
*Cody Latimer is the top kickoff returner backed up by rookie Carlos Henderson, who is also a No. 3 receiver. McKenzie is the top punt returner with Kalif Raymond backing him up.