Broncos: Cutdown analysis

Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson

Biggest surprise: Of all the AFC West cut lists, this was probably the tamest. But seeing linebacker Tim Crowder cut is a bit surprising since he was a second-round pick in 2007 and he showed promise as a rookie. He wasn’t good last season. Crowder was moved from defensive end this year. The top pick in 2007, Jarvis Moss, made the team despite being a big bust so far and despite him leaving camp earlier this year. It is also a mild surprise that running back Darius Walker was cut. He played well in the preseason. Denver kept veteran LaMont Jordan over Walker.

No brainer: Earlier in camp, some folks wondered if sixth-round pick Tom Brandstater would get replaced as the No. 3 quarterback. But the Fresno State product finished the preseason strong. New Denver coach Josh McDaniels likes Brandstater a lot and he clearly likes him more after Brandstater has flourished. With starter Kyle Orton (finger) and backup Chris Simms (ankle) both not sure things to be ready for the season opener Sept. 13 at Cincinnati, Brandstater may be forced into action. Denver thinks both Orton and Simms will be able to gut it out, but the rookie will be available if needed.

What’s next: The Broncos are far from a finished product. McDaniels has been aggressive in retooling the roster this summer. Veteran defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday was signed Saturday. Watch for McDaniels to go back to the New England well if he sees something intriguing on the Patriots’ waiver wire. Denver could add help at receiver, offensive line and several spots on defense.