The Denver Broncos needed to get better within their interior offensive line. In NFL Free Agency, they made a big splash at left guard which could help propel the unit to success in 2023.

State of the Denver Broncos interior offensive line

Perhaps one of the biggest moves the Denver Broncos made this offseason was signing former Baltimore Ravens guard Ben Powers to a contract. In every way possible, the Broncos brass of general manager George Paton and head coach Sean Payton improved the most significant area of concern for this team going into Thursday’s NFL Draft.

Denver’s offensive line struggled massively last season, allowing a league-high 63 sacks — a good portion of them coming from pressure on the interior. Russell Wilson and other Broncos quarterbacks took too many hits last season and Payton has taken the necessary steps to mitigate that from happening again in 2023.

As an offensive unit, the Broncos finished dead last in points per game, third-down conversion percentage, and sacks allowed in 2022.

Under Payton’s direction, there is hope amongst those in Broncos Country that the narrative will change this upcoming season.

With the addition of Powers, the Broncos projected starting offensive line sets to feature Garett Bolles at left tackle, Powers at left guard, Lloyd Cushenberry at center, Quinn Meinerz at right guard, and Mike McGlinchey at right tackle.

Both Meinerz and Powers have the opportunity to make the Broncos rushing attack a premier emphasis this upcoming season — considering the struggles of last year’s unit.

Aside from Denver’s addition of Powers, the Broncos’ interior offensive line is hoping Cushenberry benefits from the renovated group of starters in comparison to last year.

Payton views Cushenberry as a starter and also feels that his scheme and Denver’s new left guard and right tackle will help him and that unit thrive.

“We felt like it was an area we need to address,” Payton said back at the NFL Annual Meeting. “We feel like he’s certainly going to benefit from these additions. We haven’t met any of these guys yet, but we see him as our starting center.”

That will be for Cushenberry to prove once the team transitions into their football activity phase of voluntary offseason workouts presumably toward the end of May.

He’ll face competition from off-season addition Kyle Fuller and second-year offensive lineman Luke Wattenberg.

Beyond Fuller and Wattenberg, the Broncos also have exclusive rights free agent Quinn Bailey and futures contract signee Parker Ferguson to fill out the team’s depth on the interior.

With just five picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos and Payton could look at adding more potential depth on the interior — but that also seems unlikely given the overall lack of capital and no picks in the first or second round.

If the Broncos can stay healthy on the offensive line this season, they have a really strong chance of turning things around under Payton’s direction.