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Denver Broncos' projected roster

Examining the Denver Broncos' roster:

Quarterbacks (2)

The Broncos carried three here last season and thought enough of Dysert to keep him despite a long list of injuries on defense that eventually saw five starters on injured reserve. It's going to prove far more difficult to keep Dysert this time around, but he has practice squad eligibility so that is likely an option.

Running backs (4)

The Broncos kept five at this spot as recently as 2012, but this position still shapes up to be a quality battle. Thompson continues to show he's a potential keeper and may have made the play of the game in the win over the San Francisco 49ers with a catch on a low pass followed by a blasting of 49ers safety C.J. Spillman. Kapri Bibbs did turn some heads with his work on special teams in Sunday's win over the 49ers.

Receivers (6)

Norwood continues to show he can contribute in this offense -- he worked the starters in practice last week as well as a smattering of plays in Sunday's win over the 49ers. Couple that with Norwood taking charge as the team's punt returner and you have a guy who is going to force this team to gladly keep six receivers. Latimer continues to progress as well and projects to get some premium red zone snaps this year.

Tight ends (3)

The Broncos kept four last season -- they kept three in 2011 and three in 2012 -- but keeping three, with perhaps another on the practice squad still looks to be the most likely scenario at this point.

Offensive line (9)

The Broncos have kept nine players at this position for the opening-week roster in all three previous seasons of the John Fox/John Elway regime so this is where a difficult decision awaits if they don't elect to keep 10. Ben Garland still could be that 10th. Despite having some practice-squad eligibility remaining, Garland has progressed quickly as a smart, tough and powerful guard after starting his career with the team as a defensive lineman.

Defensive line (9)

The Broncos kept eight on the initial roster here last season and could gain a spot for someplace else if they did it again. Austin continues to become a bigger part of the rotation, almost with each passing practice and the Broncos like what they have seen from Smith as well. This is still a spot where somebody who has taken snaps with the second-team defense gets caught in a squeeze if they keep just eight.

Linebackers (7)

There is still room here for a wild card, but this group looks like it's settling in. Marshall is going to play for Trevathan for at least the first three games of the regular season and Marshall showed in the preseason win over the 49ers he's up to the challenge. Miller continues to make progress in his return from ACL surgery, has re-entered team drills and may get some playing time in Saturday's game against the Texans.

Cornerbacks (6)

Last season, the Broncos kept seven cornerbacks on the opening-night roster, including the injured Champ Bailey, but it's now looking like six here with Bolden lining up at corner much of the time. Bolden is also in the mix as the team's kickoff returner. Chris Harris Jr. took part in some team drills in fully-padded practices this past week and is still on track to start the opener.

Safeties (4)

Watch the rotations in practice as well as the preseason games and Duke Ihenacho figures into the equation here as the fifth safety, which would put the Broncos at 11 defensive backs -- what they kept last season -- but that would likely cause them to keep one fewer defensive lineman. That spot is still in play, though, as the Broncos turn the corner to the third preseason game.

Specialists (3)

The only question that still remains here, and it's still fairly large one, is at returner, where both the punt return and kickoff return jobs remain open.