Originally written May 17, 2012 on BroncoTalk:
A8
(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Name: Chris Kuper
Pos: Guard
Ht, Wt: 6’4″, 303
Age: 29
Exp: 7
College: North Dakota Chris Kuper is one of the longest tenured players on the Denver Broncos roster and has been a mainstay at right guard since 2008. As a fifth round pick in 2006, though, fans may forget it took Kuper two seasons playing in the role of “versatile backup” to land in his starting role. Kuper rode the bench his rookie year, then backed up Chris Myers at left guard, then was slotted as starting right tackle before ultimately landing at right guard. Today, he’s often heralded as one of the most underrated players in the NFL. 2011 Analysis: Kuper started in all sixteen regular season games at right guard with his usual consistency. He had tough games against the Lions‘ Ndamukong Suh (pictured) and against the Buffalo Bills‘ Marcel Dareus, but he’s considered one of the best Broncos’ offensive linemen for a reason. He’s fierce in the running game and more than decent as a pass protector. That being said, the 2011 season is difficult to grade for all Broncos O-linemen. The switch in scheme from a pro offense to the option netted rushing totals one cannot directly link to the performance of the offensive line. Contract Status: Kuper signed a six-year, $28 million deal in 2010. He is owed $3.5 million in 2012 and will become a free agent in 2016. 2012 Outlook: Incumbent starter. Kuper suffered a gruesome season-ending broken leg in the regular season finale against Kansas City that caused him to miss out on the Broncos’ two postseason games. He recently told the Denver Post he expects to be 100% ready by June. As always, we invite you, the readers, to participate. Does Kuper’s history outweigh his injury concerns, or are you more excited for one of the young guys the Broncos brought in? Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll. We hope you enjoy these posts as BroncoTalk continues to develop the first fan-powered Denver Broncos roster on the web.
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