Leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft, there was a great deal of speculation that the New York Giants would select offensive tackle Garett Bolles if he were available with the 23rd pick. The Denver Broncos, though, snagged Bolles with the 20th overall selection.
How is that working out for Denver? Well, Broncos fans are quite happy with the work of their starting left tackle. We learn that and more from “sadariane” of Mile High Report in this week’s “Five Questions” segment.
Ed: I still believe that had the Broncos not drafted him the Giants would have selected Garett Bolles in the first round. What are your thoughts on Bolles' play thus far?
sadariane: I was one of the many Bronco fans that was distraught with the pick. Let me just say that I couldn't be happier to be completely wrong on a draft pick. Bolles is the real deal and is looking like the best tackle the Broncos has had since Ryan Clady was healthy. He's not perfect by any stretch, but the kid doesn't screw up much at all and he has more than handled himself against some very impressive pass rushers like Melvin Ingram and Khalil Mack.
The most impressive thing about his play has to be his ferocity in run blocking. He dominates guys physically and for a lineman has great speed to make an impact at the 2nd level.
Ed: Is there any lingering doubt that Trevor Siemian is Denver's long-term quarterback?
sadariane: Broncos Country is very tough on quarterbacks. Sadly, most of the fan base still hold up John Elway and Peyton Manning in their prime as the standard for quarterback play. That makes it very easy to say there is a healthy amount of doubt alive and kicking regarding Trevor Siemian.
I'm still haven't moved off my assessment from last year: he looks like one of the best backup QBs you could have on your team. He's a smart player with a decent enough arm, but has yet to show any clutch or killer game that you see in a typical "good" starting NFL QB.
But let's be fair: he's only in his 2nd year of serious playing time and in his 3rd offense in as many years in the league. With a great defense and a good run game, he's the right guy for the job for sure in 2017.
Ed: If you could take one player off the Giants' roster and put him in your lineup, who would it be? Odell Beckham doesn't count -- he's hurt and I always take him off the table when I ask this, anyway.
sadariane: Ooo ... great question. Give me Justin Pugh all day. One of Denver's weakest links is left guard and Pugh working between Bolles and Paradis would have me absolutely giddy. Denver's got 3 of 5 answers on the O-Line and having a guy like Pugh would get us one step closer to having a dominant offensive line.
Ed: Who are a couple of under-the-radar players Giants fans might not know about now, but will likely know about after Sunday night?
sadariane: The most under rated player on the Broncos team is Shaquil Barrett and it isn't even close. He's a guy at OLB that does everything above average and is a great pass rusher to boot. He's been in the shadow of Shane Ray for a couple years now for absolutely no good reason I can think of other than draft position. On the field of play, he's the better player of the two (and PFF agrees if that means anything to you).
The other guy to watch out for is a rookie by the name of Isaiah McKenzie. He's our punt returner and has been this close to housing it three times this season. The kid has the quicks and the jets and has the look of a young player that people are going to start kicking away from in a couple of years.
Ed: If the Giants are going to have any chance on Sunday night, what are they going to have to get done?
sadariane: The match up of the Giants offense vs the Broncos defense is one I think heavily favors the Broncos. The Giants have a dinged up WR corps and the Broncos are absolute beasts against the run. I don't see NY scoring a lot of points on offense.
That means that the big key is to get big turnovers from their defense that lead to easy points. The Broncos offense has been shaky at times this season and when they don't play with a lead, they get progressively worse as they have to get away from a good mix of run/pass and it exposes some flaws in their passing game.