In this week’s installment of our Denver Broncos mailbag, Broncos Country wants to know whether or not rookie wide receiver Troy Franklin will have a big role right away as a rookie, what the depth of the position will look like in the regular season, and much more.

Denver Broncos Mailbag for May 15th

If you would like to be featured in any of our future mailbags on Mile High Sports, look for my weekly tweet on Twitter @CodyRoarkNFL that prompts your questions, or you can email them to me at [email protected].

Will Troy Franklin have a big role right away for the Broncos – James from Twitter.

Great question here, James. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Franklin doesn’t see some quality reps and playing time, especially if Bo Nix is the team’s starting quarterback. Both already possess quality chemistry with each other.

So much will be contingent on whether or not Courtland Sutton reports for mandatory minicamp or training camp as he awaits a potential contract extension that gives him more guaranteed money. Another factor will be whether or not any injuries creep up.

Tim Patrick should be fully healthy and ready to go for the start of OTAs and training camp, but I’d almost guarantee that Sean Payton and the team’s medical staff put some rep limitations in place because he’s a veteran and he’s also coming off back-to-back ACL and Achilles injuries.

Denver’s receiver room is loaded right now with good talent on paper, and Franklin will likely play a pivotal role.

Who will be the Broncos starting inside linebackers in Week 1, and will we see Drew Sanders get the nod there at any point this season? – Pete on Twitter.

Alex Singleton is the one player we can pencil in as a starter at inside linebacker. Who gets the start next to him is one of the biggest questions facing the team as they prepare for training camp.

Drew Sanders is an entirely different question. We don’t even know what his position will be this deep into the offseason which presents some concerns.

In my opinion, Singleton and Jonas Griffith feel like the duo that will start Week 1 at linebacker. Denver has already gotten a look at them as a duo together in 2022, and Griffith didn’t get a chance to compete in training camp because he tore his ACL.

He’ll have to fend off Cody Barton, Justin Strnad, Sanders potentially, and undrafted rookie free agent Levelle Bailey in training camp and the preseason. Once we get some clarity on where Sanders will be playing, it will be easier to answer the second part of this question.

Who will be the odd man out in the running back room? – Joel on Twitter.

All eyes should go to Samaje Perine in this question. While he obviously had a big impact on the Broncos offense last season, especially as a third-down receiving option, he didn’t offer as much value as a rusher, accumulating 238 yards on 53 carries last year.

The only reason I say Perine is because of the Broncos draft selection of Audric Estime who possesses incredible size and physicality as a rusher. One of the benefits Perine has right now was his overall effectiveness as a pass catcher out of the backfield.

Javonte Williams will be the team’s starter and everything behind him is up for grabs between Perine, Estime, Jaleel McLaughlin, Tyler Badie, and undrafted rookie free agent Blake Watson, who could play a bit of the ‘joker’ role for Payton.

“Look, we use that ‘joker’ term a little bit, ” Payton said of Watson. “That was one of the traits though that stood out. He was one of those guys again in the seventh round, sixth round, but we saw a player that was natural catching the ball. That was a big draw. When we read a player, that was a draw to his vision. What’s the vision? So now we’re learning more about him. I’m not making the comparison, but when [the Saints] drafted [Saints RB Alvin] Kamara, we saw that vision, but we didn’t realize the other things in the running game. The first handoff in the preseason I think against the Chargers, he went 52 yards for a touchdown. And we were like, ‘Man, we can hand the ball off to him.’ But if you asked me the traits that attracted us to Blake, it was certainly that that we saw in the passing game, and you saw pretty good football IQ too. So good question.”

How do you see the depth chart playing out at receiver for the Broncos? – Jeff on Twitter.

Great question, Jeff. Personally, I see the Broncos rolling with Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Marvin Mims, Josh Reynolds, Troy Franklin, and Devaughn Vele as their six options on the 53-man roster. If they were to carry seven players at the position, I’d throw Jalen Virgil into that spot.

In this scenario, the Broncos would have to hope that Virgil doesn’t get claimed by another team if they were forced to release him to finalize their 53-man roster at the end of the preseason.