After much deliberation on players, the Denver Broncos set their 2017-2018 roster, but not without some difficult decisions.

As a Broncos fan, I identify with certain players because of how they play. And this group of players has an edge to them. Some of them have been waiting for years for an opportunity to show how much they can help this team and now their time has come. Let's take a look.

Justin Simmons-Strong Safety

Simmons replaces the hugely popular T.J. Ward on the back end of Denver's defense. Simmons youth and how well he has played made this decision, while not easy for the team, palatable. Simmons is a hard nosed player who always seems to be around the football. Ward, for his part, has had a hard time staying on the field for all 16 games. Ward will now play for Tampa Bay.

Brock Osweiler-Quarterback

Yes, Brock is back, but this time as a back up to starter Trevor Siemian. Bronco fans recall Osweiler left to become the starter in Houston, only to end up being traded to Cleveland, then cut. He replaces pre season favorite Kyle Sloter, who signed with the Minnesota Vikings.

Garrett Bolles-Left Tackle

The team's first round pick in this year's draft, the rookie played well enough to get the start at left tackle. The line features 4 new starters and was an issue last season. The team also added guard Ron Leary, tackle Menelik Watson and guard Allen Barbre in free agency.

Isaiah McKenzie-Returner-Wide Receiver

McKenzie made it easier for the Broncos to release a few other wideouts because of the speed and breakaway threat McKenzie is. Punts should be exciting again!

Jamal Carter-Safety

This undrafted rookie's play made T.J. Ward expendable. Along with Simmons, Carter has the ability to move inside and play like a linebacker, something Ward has done his whole career. And along with Simmons and Darian Stewart, as well as Will Parks, this addition to the "No Fly Zone" secondary keeps Denver at or near the top in pass coverage.

Revamped Defensive Line

The Broncos were pushed around up front last season, giving up more yards in the run game and making it an easier decision for teams to not have to throw the ball into the no fly zone. Players such as Zach Kerr and Shelby Harris are strong run defenders who can also make it tough to pass.

Missing the playoffs the year after you win the Super Bowl is never a good thing, but with the players added, the new head coach in Vance Joseph, the new co coordinators in Mike McCoy and Grand Junction native Bill Musgrave make this team much different from the one that ended last season 9-7.

Look for this group to finish 10-6 and return to the playoffs.


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