If Knowshon Moreno is to make the Broncos roster, he'll have to climb up the depth chart.
Nine months removed from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Moreno was listed on the fourth team at running back, behind Willis McGahee, Lance Ball and third-round pick Ronnie Hillman, who has missed time with a hamstring injury.
Befitting his place on the depth chart, Moreno took his carries during the team periods of practice behind backup offensive lines. The Broncos have worked him in to full-contact work in recent days after clearing him with team doctors, but Moreno has acknowledged that he's still rebuilding his confidence in the surgically repaired knee.
With Moreno down on the depth chart -- which was released by the Broncos on Monday morning -- DE Robert Ayers stands as the only member of the Broncos' 2009 10-man draft class on the two-deep. Fellow 2009 pick David Bruton is on the third team at strong safety; the other seven picks are no longer with the club. Exacerbating the issue is that five of the 10 picks in 2009 came in the first two rounds.
Moreno's descent is also significant in light of where other players who haven't practiced for various reasons sit. At strong safety, Quinton Carter is listed as the starter, even though he hasn't practiced since July 27 and will miss at least the next two weeks following knee surgery. At right tackle, Orlando Franklin is the first-teamer, even though he hasn't practiced fully since suffering a concussion July 28.
Even LB D.J. Williams is on the first team, and he hasn't taken one snap this summer because of his impending six-game suspension for violation of the league's PED policy.
The depth chart also confirmed the validity of a few trends from practice. Jason Hunter has usurped Robert Ayers for one of the DE spots; Hunter has worked ahead of the 2009 first-round pick for the last four days of practice. Mike Mohamed is the backup middle linebacker to Joe Mays; Mohamed moved past undrafted rookie Steven Johnson in practice last week.
The Broncos also list Caleb Hanie as the No. 2 quarterback, behind Peyton Manning. Second-round pick Brock Osweiler is the third-teamer; 2011 practice-squad member Adam Weber is the fourth-stringer.
One mild surprise was the listing of Brandon Stokley as a third-team WR behind Eric Decker and Andre Caldwell. Matt Willis is listed as a second-teamer behind Demaryius Thomas.
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