2018 Denver Broncos starters, 53-man roster, schedule prediction

Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos cut their active roster to 53 players Saturday. Here’s what the depth chart looks like:

QUARTERBACK (3): Case Keenum, Chad Kelly, Paxton Lynch

In a move that might have been as much financial and draft status-related as performance, Lynch remains on the roster despite losing the battle to Kelly for backup job. The former first-rounder, however, will likely not appear in any game this season unless Keenum is injured or Kelly falters in practice.

RUNNING BACK (3): Royce Freeman, Devontae Booker, Phillip Lindsay

Lindsay’s performance made former sixth-round pick De’Angelo Henderson the odd man out. The rookie Freeman has the look of a front-line back who can lug the rock 300 times a season if asked to.

FULLBACK (1): Andy Janovich

Janovich, a core special-teamer, has also been used in an H-back role at times during the preseason.

WIDE RECEIVER (6): Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton, Tim Patrick, Isaiah McKenzie.

Take you pick, but either here or running back the Broncos kept one fewer player to keep one more quarterback. Patrick was the solid fifth receiver as they went through the preseason. The Broncos now average 6-foot-2 and over 200 pounds at the position.

TIGHT END (3): Jeff Heuerman, Jake Butt, Matt LaCosse.

LaCosse played his way on to the roster with two touchdown receptions in the preseason. He showed some impact ability as a receiver and will get some gameday snaps when the Broncos open up the formation.

OFFENSIVE LINE (9): Garett Bolles (LT), Ron Leary (LG), Matt Paradis (C), Connor McGovern (RG), Jared Veldheer (RT), Elijah Wilkinson (T), Max Garcia (G/C), Billy Turner (G/T), G/C Sam Jones

In the end, the Broncos saw two much from rookie Sam Jones to keep Cyrus Kouandjio as an extra tackle. Garcia also closed out the preseason with a strong effort in both practice and games.

DEFENSIVE LINE (6): Derek Wolfe, Domata Peko, Adam Gotsis, Zach Kerr, DeMarcus Walker, Shelby Harris

Clinton McDonald was one of the team’s most prominent signings in free agency, but an infection in his shoulder -- from a previous surgery -- and the missed practice time that came with it allowed DeMarcus Walker to claim the final spot in this group.

LINEBACKER (10): Von Miller, Brandon Marshall, Todd Davis, Bradley Chubb, Shane Ray, Josey Jewell, Shaquil Barrett, Alexander Johnson, Joseph Jones, Keishawn Bierria

The Broncos kept three more players at this position this time around than they did a year ago and still waived a player -- Jeff Holland -- with plenty of potential as an edge-rusher down the road. The rookie Bierria as well as Jones are potential front-line special teamers.

SECONDARY (9): Chris Harris Jr. (CB), Bradley Roby (CB), Darian Stewart (S), Justin Simmons (S), Isaac Yiadom (CB), Tramaine Brock (CB), Will Parks (S), Adam Jones (CB), Dymonte Thomas (S)

The changing face of special teams contributed to the Broncos keeping one more player here than they this last season. With quality work in the preseason, Thomas is the fifth safety this time around -- the Broncos kept four safeties last year.

SPECIALIST (3): K Brandon McManus, P Marquette King, LS Casey Kreiter

These three have moved through training camp and the preseason unchallenged and the Broncos believe all three could be among the best in the league at what they do if the perform as expected.