Last year's shock playoff appearance and the subsequent signing of QB Peyton Manning two months later meant that the Broncos transformed from rebuilding project to Super Bowl aspirant ahead of schedule. With that being the case, most of the roster is settled heading into the final two preseason games.
- Knowshon Moreno (RB, 3rd year, 2009 first-round draft pick) -- The promise of his draft status has rarely materialized into performance for Moreno, who failed to live up to his draft status even before he tore an anterior cruciate ligament last November. Moreno is listed on the fourth team behind Willis McGahee, Lance Ball and rookie Ronnie Hillman. Moreno's carries have been sparse in the first two games of the preseason. What complicates matters is that even if he runs well in the two preseason games over the next four days, he doesn't contribute on special teams or burrow for yardage between the tackles the way Ball does. Ball doesn't have Moreno's speed and moves, but his versatile skill set is more representative of what you want in a running back at third or lower on the depth chart. Even if the Broncos keep four runners, Moreno might not be in the clear; Xavier Omon and Jeremiah Johnson have impressed in practice and neither can be stashed on the practice squad as they have exhausted their eligibility there.
- Ryan Harris (OT, 6th year, starting RT from 2008-10) -- The Broncos' most experienced backup lineman returned in January after spending a season recovering from a back injury that caused the Eagles to place him on the waived/injured list last summer. Harris has worked mostly at left tackle throughout camp, but was dogged by an ankle injury that kept him out for nearly a week. Among the backups, Harris ranks behind Manuel Ramirez -- who is currently starting at right guard in place of the injured Chris Kuper -- and Chris Clark, who is the first backup option at either of the tackle slots. With fourth-rounder Philip Blake a virtual certainty to make the roster as a reserve guard and center, Harris appears to be competing with Tony Hills and Adam Grant for the ninth and final offensive line slot. Harris is the only member of the Broncos' 2007 draft class left on the roster; if he's waived, the Broncos will have just three players left from their 2005-08 draft crops -- a group that should ideally provide the veteran foundation of the squad.
- Mike Mohamed (LB, 2nd year, 2011 sixth-round draft pick) -- A hamstring injury suffered last Saturday dealt a blow to the hopes of Mohamed, who has practiced at all three linebacker slots since joining the Broncos but was expected to play extensively as a second-team middle linebacker last week. If Keith Brooking tests his hamstring in the coming days and shows that he's ready to back up at middle and weak-side linebacker, there might not be room for Mohamed, who could be bumped down to the third team, placing him squarely on the fence. Mohamed is the most endangered member of the Broncos' nine-man 2011 draft class. All others are excellent bets to make the final roster, including DE Jeremy Beal, who moved up to the second team after Jason Hunter tore a triceps muscle and has two sacks this preseason.