The Denver Broncos have just one final preseason game before they’ll be forced to trim their roster from 80 players, down to 53.

With so many tough decisions looming, which Broncos have put themselves in the best position for success and which have dug a hole too deep to escape? Let’s look.

Absolute Zero (-460° F)

These seats are so cold that the atoms within have stopped moving altogether. This is the coldest temperature the laws of physics, as we understand them, will allow. These 32 players have absolutely no chance of not being on the final roster in 2022.

The players (ordered by position): Russell Wilson, Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon, Mike Boone, Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler, Montrell Washington, Greg Dulcich, Garett Bolles, Billy Turner, Quinn Meinerz, Lloyd Cushenberry III…Dre’Mont Jones, D.J. Jones, DeShawn Williams, Bradley Chubb, Randy Gregory, Baron Browning, Nik Bonitto, Josey Jewell, Jonas Griffith, Patrick Surtain II, Ronald Darby, K’Waun Williams, Damarri Mathis, Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, Caden Sterns, P.J. Locke…Brandon McManus.

Not much here should surprise fans of the Denver Broncos.

Gordon and Boone at running back, Cushenberry at center, and Williams on the defensive line might turn some heads here, but they’ve been terrific all throughout camp, and Denver has no one to replace them with. Normally, you wouldn’t expect to see a fourth-round rookie corner or a No. 4 safety in this tier, but Mathis, Sterns and Locke have been just that impressive.

Antarctica (-71° F)

These bleachers are so cold that any exposed skin could find itself fused to a seat, though things could technically be colder. All of these 10 players should make the roster, but there is a reality where they’re either traded or end up being a surprise cut, even though that reality probably isn’t one we inhabit.

The players (ordered by position): Kendall Hinton, Albert Okwuegbunam Andrew Beck, Calvin Anderson, Dalton Risner, Netane Muti…Mike Purcell, Eyioma Uwazurike, Alex Singleton, Justin Strnad…Jacob Bobenmoyer.

Hinton, Okwuegbunam, Risner, Anderson and Purcell are all valuable pieces of this team and most of them have performed very well this offseason, but there’s always been a mild uncertainty surrounding the long-term futures of each.

Hinton could garner some interest if the Broncos want to recreate the Trinity Benson trade. Okwuegbunam is struggling to block in this system, so maybe the Broncos decide to keep both Eric Tomlinson and Eric Saubert while picking up a quality draft pick. Risner is coming off two dreadful seasons and was in danger of losing his starting job to Muti at some point this offseason. Anderson has had two deeply disappointing preseason performances. Purcell has two young run-defending linemen nipping at his heels.

Beck is the only player the team has given a look at fullback, seemingly solidifying his spot in the face of poor performance, while lack of competition also makes it very likely Singleton, Strnad, and Bobenmoyer make the team.

Denver in late November (36° F)

These seats are feeling pretty brisk. It’s likely scarf weather outside, but you still might get the odd warm spell here or there. A majority of these eight players will make the roster, but one or two are likely to miss out and be labeled the ‘surprise cut’ for Denver.

The players (ordered by position): Brandon Johnson, Jalen Virgil, Luke Wattenberg…Matt Henningsen, Aaron Patrick, Michael Ojemudia, Essang Bassey, J.R. Reed.

Johnson and Virgil have been standout UDFAs who should be more than just depth pieces on the 2022 Denver Broncos, and the team is unlikely to be able to sneak them by on waivers. While it might be damning him with faint praise, Wattenberg has been one of the best members of the second-unit OL and is a rookie Denver just invested a pick into, so he should stay.

Henningsen, Patrick and Reed have all had terrific summers worthy of a roster spot. Patrick and Reed’s special teams prowess and Henningsen’s drafted rookie status give them enough of a nudge to land in this tier.

Ojemudia and Bassey are in deep trouble after pretty horrific showings at training camp and throughout the preseason. But, when it comes to Bassey, what other cornerbacks are operating in the nickel, and, when it comes to Ojemudia, the Broncos have Damarri Mathis and not much else on the boundary in their cornerback depth.

Room temperature (66° F)

These seats are completely temperate, and neither register as notably warm nor do they feel notably cold. They’re the textbook definition of lukewarm. These players are total toss-ups to make the roster, with their odds of making it just slightly worse than correctly predicting heads or tails on a coin.

The players (ordered by position): Brett Rypien, Josh Johnson, Eric Saubert, Eric Tomlinson, Cameron Fleming, Zack Johnson, Graham Glasgow…Jonathan Harris, Jonathon Cooper, Malik Reed, Bless Austin…Corliss Waitman, Sam Martin.

In hindsight, this section should have been labeled ‘The Thunderdome’ with how many ‘two men enter, only one leaves’ battles are occupying the space. Rypien vs. Johnson, Saubert vs. Tomlinson, Cooper v. Reed, and Waitman v. Martin will all be marquee matchups to monitor in the preseason’s final week.

The rest are players at talented position groups that are waiting to see how many men the Denver Broncos want at a given position.

Denver in June (80° F)

These seats are getting a little balmy. It’s not quite hot yet, but sit in the sun long enough and you’ll start to work up a good sweat. These players probably aren’t making the final roster, but there’s a chance a late-afternoon thunderstorm sweeps in, cools these seats down, and saves the day.

The players (ordered by position): Tyrie Cleveland, Seth Williams, Quinn Bailey…Jonathan Kongbo, Faion Hicks, Delarrin Turner-Yell.

Some might be surprised to see Cleveland here, especially considering special teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes’ Thursday comments in support of him, but Hinton, Johnson and Virgil are likely all too enticing to put on waivers, while Williams and Cleveland of the best chance of clearing waivers and making it to the practice squad.

Bailey is a tough one because in the past he’s been worthy of a roster spot, but his play at guard this preseason has been atrocious.

Hicks and Turner-Yell haven’t shown enough as rookies to warrant a roster spot, though they’re certainly names to monitor for the practice squad.

Lastly, Kongbo has a lot of special teams upside, but like Cleveland, could miss the final roster as the result of a crowded position room.

Death Valley (130° F)

These bleachers are so blazing hot that you could fry an egg on them. The sun is beating down on you at maximum cruelty and you just want a lemonade. These three players are almost certainly not making the final roster, though they do hold onto an outside chance at salvation.

The players (ordered by position): Devine Ozigbo…McTelvin Agim, Jeremiah Gemmel.

Ozigbo and Gemmel could very easily be placed in the next tier down, considering both have done literally nothing with the Denver Broncos to earn themselves a roster spot. However, the factor of the unknown is enough to bump them up here.

As for Agim, the upside is still fairly promising, but his ability to defend the run is so poor it makes him a liability, and this roster probably doesn’t have room for him as a result.

The Sun (6,200° F)

These seats were disintegrated by heat well before they reached their final destination. It’s a heat too hot to comprehend. These seven players will not be Denver Broncos in 2022 and should be considered long shots for the practice squad.

The players (ordered by position): JaQuan Hardy, Darrius Shepherd, Dylan Parham, Michael Niese…Kana’i Mauga, Donnie Lewis Jr., JaQuan McMillian.

Hardy just hasn’t gotten the job at running back, which is why the team brought Ozigbo in.

The writing appeared to be on the wall for Mauga and Lewis Jr. last week, when they saw their snap counts decrease from 30 to 13 and 27 to eight, respectively.

Meanwhile, Shepherd, Parham, Niese and McMillian find themselves at the very backend of some of the most crowded position rooms on the roster.