Five Sleeper Rookies Who Can Make an Impact on the Denver Broncos

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Nov 23, 2013; Logan, UT, USA; Utah State Aggies quarterback Darell Garretson (6) avoids Colorado State Rams linebacker Shaquil Barrett (56) during the third quarter at Romney Stadium. Utah State Aggies won 13-0. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are one of the deepest teams in the league, and that’s because in the last five years, they’ve done a phenomenal job in the draft as well as free agency of finding those underrated gems, guys who can come in with little or no expectations and blow you away.

As a reference point, look to the 2011 NFL Draft class that started off with 2nd overall pick Von Miller. In the fourth round of that draft, Julius Thomas was added. Chris Harris was added as an undrafted free agent. In 2012, the Broncos used their top pick on Derek Wolfe. They used a fifth and sixth round pick on Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan respectively.

In 2013, the Broncos picked Montee Ball in the 2nd round. They came away with Lerentee McCray as an undrafted free agent.

There has been incredible depth across the board for the Broncos’ draft classes, so I want to take a look at the class of 2014 at five guys who are maybe underrated right now but have the ability to make an impact this season.


Shaquil Barrett

Linebacker/Rush End, Colorado State

Undrafted out of Colorado State, Barrett was easily one of my favorite prospects that I scouted for the Broncos. With the Broncos’ depth on the front seven, it’s possible that Barrett’s initial impact on the Broncos is learning on the practice squad, but this kid is a gamer. He is one of those guys who is not overly athletic compared to most prospects but I can honestly say I didn’t see another player as instinctive and as tenacious as this kid. He seems like the type of guy that makes it impossible for a coach to cut him. I could see him showing out in the pre-season and earning a roster spot.
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