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Published on 06/25/2012 at Mon Jun 25 10:00.
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(Andrew Mason/MaxDenver)

This offseason, we’re going to do a Speak Up series looking at each position (o-line, d-line, etc).  Today, we’re looking at the offensive line.

We want to know what you think the Denver Broncos‘ trenches should look like this season.  Should the 2011 unit stay in place, or should changes be made?

Returning:  C/G Manny Ramirez, G Zane Beadles, T Ryan Clady, T Chris Clark, T Orlando Franklin, G Chris Kuper, T Adam Grant, T Ryan Harris, OL Tony Hills and C J.D. Walton.

Acquired:  C/G C.J. Davis,  C Philip Blake, G Austin Wuebbles, T Mike Remmers and G Wayne Tribue.

Last season, the Broncos’ offensive line consisted of Clady, Beadles, Walton, Kuper and Franklin.  If Kuper can fully recover from an ankle injury he suffered last season, we expect the offensive line to stay in place moving forward.

For the sake of offseason discussion however, there are some players the Broncos could move around.  Guard/center C.J. Davis has been practicing with the second-team offense with center/guard Manny Ramirez filling in for Kuper until he returns.

When Kuper does return, the Broncos will have the option of moving Franklin inside and replace him with Harris, who started in Denver from 2008-2010.  This would result in the Broncos offensive line consisting of Clady, Franklin, Walton, Kuper and Harris — lots of experience with a beefed up interior line.

Franklin has experience playing inside and Harris allowed an average of just 2.25 sacks allowed over a three-year span in Denver before spending a brief stint with the Eagles.  Orlando has been an impressive run blocker and moving him inside would help generate a push in goal line situations.  Harris does have some injury concerns however so the team wouldn’t make such a move if they weren’t confident in Harris’ health and ability going into training camp.

At the end of the day, the Broncos don’t have a lot of experience beyond Harris, Clady and Kuper.  If the team wants to keep the 2011 group intact, it wouldn’t surprise anybody.  But they do have other options.

It’s your turn! Vote in the poll below and tell us in the comments what you think the Broncos’ o-line should look like this season!

What should the Broncos O-line look like in '12?

View Results

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  • TD30isMVP

    When it comes to an O-line, the longer they are together as a unit the better the line…even if you have better talent waiting in the wings at a single position (cough*Center*cough).

  • AZDynamics

    A lot depends on Harris, IMO. In 2008, Harris was regarded as one of the better RTs in the league. There seems no reason a healthy Harris wouldn’t still have those skills.

    On thing to keep in mind is that the object is a better offensive line. That might sound like a no-brainer, but one can get so wrapped up in what best suits the individual players that one can forget the desired end result. For example, if Harris is as good or better than Franklin at RT, and Franklin is better than Beadles at LG, then Harris at RT and Franklin at LG may make for a better line, regardless of whether Franklin is better at one than he is the other.

    The line was exceptionally strong at the tackles and RG last year, but there were obvious weaknesses at center and LG. Where each player will be positioned will depend on how well that will shore up the line. I’m sure that is what they are looking at.

  • Jon

    “If Harris is as good or better than Franklin at RT, and Franklin is better than Beadles at LG, then Harris at RT and Franklin at LG may make for a better line, regardless of whether Franklin is better at one than he is the other.”

    Completely agree.

  • Ahmad Washington

    Replace the worst starting center in the NFL (Walton), with Philip Blake. Even though Blake is a rookie, it gets no worse than Walton

  • eljbow

    I’d like to see a little consistency on the OL, especially considering how young they are. That said, I remember Ryan Harris being a solid RT when he was healthy…of course that wasn’t very often…

  • Doom92

    Consistency is for sure key on the O-Line but to leave a better player “in the wings” for a lesser player is just stupidity. That said I think the glaring weakness is at center, clearly. We have a starting center that could NOT start on any other team in the league, if he is in-fact the worst center in the league. So if the rook can beat him out or stay with him in camp and preseason I say start the rook. If he cant hang then you replace him with the worst starting center in the league and right back where you were, give it a try…

  • Greg Williams

    I would move Many Ramirez to center. He has done a good job backing up the last two years at the guard positions. Thus, I would have Clady at LT, Kuper At LG, Ramirez at C, Franklin at RG and Harris at RT. I think that would be a great offensive line! Go,Broncos!

  • anthony33

    I think you go in the same as you ended last year, with the exception of Kuper of course. Make or break year for Walton and Beadles. Harris give you some flexibility to shuffle things around a bit. Don’t know enough about the remaining back ups to know it there’s a player waiting to break out. Hopefully another year of maturity will put both Beadles and Walton over the top.

  • Rich Sawicki

    i will tell you what it should look like—-NO WINY ASS PEYTON MANNING. He needs to go home and leave my broncos alone.

  • Ricky Hardesty

    I’d love to see Harris moved back outside and starting opposite of Clady again. I remember an article before about Harris and Clady being bookend tackles, then harris wanted more money or some other reason that he went to the eagles. Franklin also had a lot of struggles last year in the pass game. Inside would be a better fit for him. I would probably swap him and kuper though to have a better left side of the line to block mannings back side. The last thing we need is Franklin to miss a blitzer and let someone come free and clear and destroy our QB.
    I’ve also heard that Blake could push Walton for the center job which wouldn’t matter so much imo

    My lineup would be

    Clady – Kuper – Walton – Franklin – Harris

  • Doom92

    Other than Walton I like it…