Denver Broncos hope beefed-up lines push them back into playoffs

Drafting Garett Bolles in the first round was a key part of the Broncos' plan to rebuild their offensive line. Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos ended their offseason program on June 15. Here's a look at how they fared:

Offseason goals/grade: Had free agent DL Calais Campbell opted to join the Broncos -- he signed a $60 million deal in Jacksonville -- Denver would have been able to tick off virtually every item on the team’s offseason to-do list. Aside from Campbell, the Broncos decided not to pursue high-priced targets in free agency. But they wanted to do plenty of work on their offensive and defensive lines, and they managed to sign two offensive linemen and three defensive linemen as unrestricted free agents. A one-year deal with Jamaal Charles could bear fruit if the running back's surgically repaired knees hold up. Add in a draft class that should have several impact rookies -- including left tackle Garett Bolles, defensive end DeMarcus Walker and wide receiver Carlos Henderson -- and the Broncos should be able to get back into the playoff conversation. Grade: B.

Move I liked: When a team makes a guard its first significant dive into free agency, the fans aren't likely to call for a parade. But if Ronald Leary plays as well for his new team as he did for the Cowboys -- or perhaps even a little better -- the Broncos will have a presence on the offensive line's interior that they haven’t had since Chris Kuper was healthy and mashing defenders. Leary’s knees were a concern when he came into the league, but he has started 47 games over the past five seasons and hasn’t had injury issues. The Broncos have spent each of the past three offseasons planning to overhaul the offensive line, and it’s time for them to settle on a group that can at least make it through back-to-back seasons as the starters.

Move I didn’t like: It would have been very difficult to convince Kayvon Webster to re-sign in Denver as an unrestricted free agent given his prospects for playing time in the league’s best secondary. Webster, however, didn’t sign a deal that would have prohibitive for the Broncos to match (two years, $7.75 million with the Rams). Again, it’s unlikely Webster would have taken similar money to play less in Denver, and the Broncos think Lorenzo Doss is ready to replace Webster in situational work on defense. But if the Broncos have to cover for an injury to starters Aqib Talib or Chris Harris Jr., they will miss Webster’s athleticism. And the former special-teams captain will be difficult to replace on those units.

Biggest question still to be answered in training camp: This will continue to be the most-discussed question in and around the team: Who will be the starting QB? Like last summer, when Trevor Siemian won a three-way battle in training camp for the starting spot, the Broncos have opened the job up to competition. This time it’s Siemian and Paxton Lynch competing. Coach Vance Joseph has said he’s willing to delay the decision deep into the preseason, if necessary. The biggest challenge for Joseph as a first-year coach will be dealing with the circus that comes with a quarterback competition.

Salary-cap space:$12,222,381 (source: Overthecap.com)

2017 draft picks: 1. T Garett Bolles, 2. DE DeMarcus Walker, 3. WR Carlos Henderson, 3. CB Brendan Langley, 5. TE Jake Butt, 5. WR Isaiah McKenzie, 6. RB De'Angelo Henderson, 7. QB Chad Kelly.

Undrafted rookie free agents signed: LB Josh Banderas, S Dante Barnett, S Jamal Carter, OLB Ken Ekanem, LB Jerrol Garcia-Williams, LB Deon Hollins, T Cameron Hunt, NT Tyrique Jarrett, OL Chris Muller, WR Anthony Nash, CB Dontrell Nelson, CB Marcus Rios, QB Kyle Sloter, DE Shakir Soto, S Orion Stewart, S Dymonte Thomas, OL Elijah Wilkinson.

Unrestricted free agents signed: G Ronald Leary (Cowboys); T Menelik Watson (Raiders); NT Domata Peko (Bengals); NT Zach Kerr (Colts); RB Jamaal Charles (Chiefs); OLB Kasim Edebali (Saints); DL Billy Winn (Broncos).

Restricted free agents signed: LB Todd Davis (one-year tender).

Players acquired via trade: None.