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Speculation games are fun!

Everyone loves guessing games, and what more fun of a guessing game than who will play as a true freshman? Let's discuss.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

All right, now that we’ve established how awesome and amazing this class is because it’s awesome, we can FINALLY talk about what everyone wants to talk about: Who will play right away? The speculation game is one of America’s favorite pastimes. Ok, maybe it isn’t America’s, but it surely is Bronco Nation’s as well as mine. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

We all know that, based on stuff, O-lineman rarely, if ever, play as true freshman. So, that would rule out Quevedo, Larson and Molchon. Sorry fellas, but your time will come. We have two wide receivers listed in this class in Butler and Jefferson.  Honestly, I think either of them could play. Sperbeck, Anderson and SWR will need the support. Rick Smith is coming off a redshirt year and he is going to be a factor. Troy Ware showed teasing flashes, as he is wont to do, so we will see him make a few big plays when we need him to, but he will unfortunately be overshadowed by the other receivers. If I were to guess, I would say if either plays, it would be Bryan Jefferson. Not because I think Jefferson is any better than Akilian Butler, but he has a slight height advantage, and that is something we have been lacking. 6’1 isn’t necessarily a size mismatch, but 2 inches can make a difference for sure.

Drew brought up an interesting point yesterday that I think has a ton of merit, and it was something I had overlooked. Connor Peters was our best blocking tight end, followed by Alec Dhaenens. With the departure of Peters, Dhaenens would be our most solid blocking TE. Enter Matt Pistone. Pistone was a beast at Yuma, excelling at both catching and blocking. We could very well see Pistone pay as a true freshman because of his skill set. and at 6’4 and 230 lbs, he is well suited physically to take on that role. Could he stand to add 15-20 lbs? Sure, but 230 is nothing to scoff at.

Samuel Whitney will be gray shirting and Riley Whimpey won’t join the team until 2017, so those two are out. Drew Berger definitely has the skills and intelligence to play right away, but we have a good amount of depth at LB. We lost Renaud at LB, and while that stings, we return Vallejo, Weaver, Lee, Gray, Martarano and have Vander Esch and Provenzano as walk-ons. While I don’t see the latter two playing, that’s still a decent amount of depth. But, I feel of Berger and Marquis Hendrix, Berger would get the nod.

At DL, well, we are ridiculously loaded inside. We will have 7 interior lineman, which is PLENTY. In fact, I could see McCaskill and Horn potentially playing at END, especially with the season Hoyte had. We have Boles and Moa coming off RS as well, and STUD is on lockdown, so I don’t see Matt Locher hitting the field.

Now in the secondary it could get interesting. Kam Miles will definitely play, as will Ray Ford. The injury to Chanceller James shouldn’t affect much of his season, but Thompson and DSG will need help for sure. Evan Tyler, Darreon Jackson or Damion Wright all have the skills to see the field. Will Tyler follow in the mold of Iloka, a player that many compare him to, and play immediately? The opportunity is there for sure.  All 3 are quick and long. The coaches did a stellar job of finding guys to fill the larger and longer molds they were looking for. At CB Deayon has one side locked up. Moxey still has some work to do, so I feel the other side of the field is fair game. Tyler Horton is the biggest CB recruit we have had in a while, and he tape is impressive. Of the CBs, he could see early play time. Donzale Roddie is no slouch either. Honestly it’s kind of a toss up between Horton and Roddie. But again, Blair has all of the tools to fill the void just as well as either Horton or Roddie.

Raymond Sheard is the lone RB of the class and has the size and speed to play right away. He has a similar upright running style that Ajayi exhibited. How his skill set translates to the next level, we don't quite know. We can assume well based on how Ajayi did, but Ajayi had to work into that role. The RB corps are loaded, believe it or not. McNichols is slated to be the feature back, with Fields, Demas and Bertoli to back him up. We then have Young coming off a redshirt, and Wolpin and Siebold as walk-ons. I haven't seen them play, but walk-ons have a tendency to do well for the Broncos. Just as Beau Martin.

And last, but assuredly not least, we have Brett Rypien. The highest rated QB to ever be recruited here, Rypien has the pedigree, size, and tools to be able to play immediately.  But, to my knowledge, we've NEVER started a true freshman at QB, so at the very least history is against him. Even the all-time winningest QB redshirted. Based on an impromptu poll taken by Jeremy Rodrigues on Twitter yesterday, Finley and Rypien will be neck and neck. Finley has a good amount of experience and playbook knowledge, but Rypien has a ridiculous work ethic. Spring Game can’t get here soon enough.

Until the start of the first game of fall, a game in which i have no idea who we will be playing, but it most likely is no one of importance or recent history, we won’t know all the answer. But spring practice will be a ton of fun. How about you fellow Nuggies? Who do you feel will get some early play time as a true freshman? Why? And when will they install a churro stand at Albertson’s Stadium? Let us know in the comments! Go Broncos!