KUSA - A deeper look into the Broncos’ 53-man roster:
*It was probably three roster spots that were won/lost with the Broncos’ fourth preseason game Thursday at Arizona: One, defensive linemen Billy Winn and Kyle Peko were picked instead of Henry Melton; two, running back Kapri Bibbs beat out Ronnie Hillman; three, receiver Jordan Taylor was picked instead of running back Juwan Thompson.
*None of the waived Bronco players were claimed by other teams.
*It’s hard to believe that Thompson has practice squad eligibility after he just played two full seasons.
“I like it here, I wouldn’t want to transition anywhere else,” Thompson said. “Just be patient. It’s a long season. You never know how the numbers (of running backs) may go. They may need me one week. You never know but I’m always willing to do whatever to help this team out.’’
Also on the practice squad: Dillon Day, center; Justin Murray, offensive tackle; Ryan Murphy, safety; Taurean Nixon, cornerback; receiver Mose Frazier, outside linebacker Vontariuss Dora, tight end henry Krieger-Coble and linebacker Kyle Kragen, son of former Broncos’ defensive line standout Greg Kragen.
The Broncos are also planning to sign back returner/receiver Kalif Raymond on Monday.
*One void on the Broncos’ roster is they didn’t wind up with a bona fide kickoff returner. Raymond got a long look before he was waived. Cody Latimer will get the first shot at kickoff returns and slot receiver Jordan Norwood will return punts.
*The Broncos’ biggest concern entering the opener Thursday may not be quarterback but punter. When he settled down, Riley Dixon came through with a very good 45-yard punt to the Arizona 9 with no return late in the fourth quarter.
Problem was it took the rookie Dixon four punts to settle down. Dixon may have understandably felt like he was under the microscope against Arizona because he realized all eyes were on him after the Broncos picked him instead of popular incumbent Britton Colquitt.
“We like Riley's upside,’’ said Broncos general manager John Elway. “A lot of times those are always tough spots because you know that any time you have a veteran and you go young, there's always that consistency factor and you're sometimes going to take a step back before you take two ahead. That's what we're planning on, but we think that Riley can step in and be that guy.”
Colquitt signed a one-year, $1.7 million deal with Cleveland. He would have accepted another one-year cut from the Broncos but the team wanted him to also accept a three-year extension with no guarantees and a $1.6 million average base salary.
*Follow the Pro Bowl selections and the strength of this team is obvious: Receivers on offense (Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders); edge rushers (Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware) and cornerbacks (Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib) on defense.
Miller and Ware are backed up by Shane Ray, Shaq Barrett and Dekoda Watson. Behind Harris and Talib are Bradley Roby and Kayvon Webster, plus Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward and the underrated Darian Stewart.
Copyright 2016 KUSA