While quarterback is all the talk in Denver, and rightfully so, it could all be moot if the Broncos don't figure out their right tackle situation.
Losing Ja'Wuan James to an Achilles injury this offseason, after he didn't play a snap last year due to COVID-19, has put the Broncos' right tackle position up in the air. That's why they signed two veterans, Bobby Massie and Cameron Fleming, to one-year contracts to compete with Calvin Anderson and Quinn Bailey for the starting spot.
"I like all four guys there," coach Vic Fangio said this offseason. "They all bring different positives and negatives to the table. I think once it’s all said and done, we’ll have a good right tackle."
Right now, the competition has barely started with Massie and Anderson missing a good amount of the offseason with injuries. But come training camp July 27, it's likely going to be the second-most important position battle on the team.
Here's a breakdown of the Broncos' options at right tackle:
The favorite: Bobby Massie
Massie is considered the favorite of the four, having been a consistent starter at right tackle for the Arizona Cardinals (2012-15) and Chicago Bears (2016-20) the last nine seasons. Massie's biggest obstacle has been staying on the field the last two seasons, missing six games in 2019 to a high-ankle sprain and eight games in 2020 to a knee injury. He missed all of the Broncos' OTAs and mandatory minicamp with a pec injury.
But when healthy, Massie has proved he's a reliable starter at right tackle. In 469 snaps last season, he gave up three sacks, 10 quarterback hurries and committed one penalty.
The backup: Cameron Fleming
Similar to Massie, Fleming has played a lot of ball in the NFL. But Fleming's career hasn't been nearly as consistent, having mostly been a backup in his seven years. Last season was the first to start in every game he played, having started in 42 games in his career, playing for the New England Patriots (2014-17), the Dallas Cowboys (2018-19) and the New York Giants (2020).
Fleming has had his ups and downs throughout his career, but last season was certainly a low, giving up six sacks, 25 quarterback hurries and committing seven penalties in 16 starts for the Giants.
The future: Calvin Anderson
Going undrafted in 2019, Anderson has shown potential in his limited time on the field and could be the Broncos' choice at right tackle if they want to pick the guy with the most long-term potential. Anderson spent most of last season as a swing tackle — meaning he could play left or right if needed. If he doesn't win the starting job, that will likely be his role again next season.
In his two starts last season — at right tackle Week 10 against the Raiders and at left tackle Week 14 against the Chargers — he gave up a combined zero sacks, five quarterback hurries and zero penalties.
The underdog: Quinn Bailey
Bailey is the underdog of the group, having played only two snaps in the NFL, both on special teams. After going undrafted in 2019, Bailey was signed to the Broncos practice squad. He signed with the Raiders practice squad in 2020 before signing back with the Broncos this offseason.
While Bailey doesn't have the experience of Massie, Fleming or even Anderson, he has gotten a lot of reps with the first and second team this offseason, with Massie and Anderson missing time.