Broncos rookies have already reported to training camp; veterans arrive Wednesday. With practices underway Thursday, the team can start focusing on some of the prominent position battles that could dictate the success of the 2017 season.

Everyone knows that Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian will compete at quarterback in the weeks leading up to the team’s opener against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 11. But other battles are just as important. Here are five position battles aside from quarterback to watch leading up to the regular season.

No. 3 Wide Receiver

Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are firmly cemented as the team’s top two receivers. But players like Carlos Henderson, Jordan Taylor, Bennie Fowler and Cody Latimer figure to each have an opportunity to become the third option. If one of those players can establish themselves as a playmaker at the position, an already productive receiving corps could become one of the league’s best.

Left Tackle

Though the Broncos used their first-round pick on Garett Bolles, there are still players in the mix at left tackle. Bolles, Ty Sambrailo and Donald Stephenson all saw first-team reps at left tackle throughout minicamp. One of the team’s glaring weaknesses over the past two seasons, a clear winner at left tackle would be a welcome sight.

Defensive End

Derek Wolfe will start on the left side of the line, but the right side is far from certain. Last year’s starter Jared Crick has the most experience, but Adam Gotsis and second-round pick DeMarcus Walker both figure to compete throughout training camp along with veterans Billy Winn and Shelby Harris.  This position could be one that fluctuates throughout the year.

Tight End

The Broncos have lacked a playmaker at tight end for the last two years. A.J. Derby, Jeff Heuerman and Virgil Green return from last year, and the Broncos added Jake Butt in the fifth round of the 2017 draft. Butt is still recovering from an ACL injury and the other three have been relatively unproductive throughout their careers. This battle may be the most uncertain heading into the season.


Jordan Norwood handled the bulk of return duties last season without much success. The Broncos addressed their return dilemma in the draft with rookies Carlos Henderson and Isaiah McKenzie. Henderson was the C-USA Special Teams Player of the year last season and McKenzie had six return touchdowns in his three years at Georgia. Both figure to compete with Kalif Raymond at the position.