Broncos Prospects: Closer Look at New Practice Squad WR Nathan Palmer


Jul 31, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Nathan Palmer (10) runs with the ball after making a catch during training camp at Anderson University. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Whenever the Broncos make roster moves, I am always ultimately intrigued. A lot of these guys on the practice squad won’t play in the NFL, or their roles will be minimal. However, we’ve seen the Broncos use undrafted and underrated prospects in huge roles dating all the way back to the likes of Rod Smith, up to more recent players like Chris Harris, Wesley Woodyard, and Duke Ihenacho.

We all need to understand that making it in the NFL takes a lot of guts, a lot of chops, and a lot of time. It’s rare for rookies to perform up to the level they are expected to by most people, especially considering give or take 300 rookies come into the league every year, and maybe a handful of guys are up every year for Rookie of the Year or Pro Bowl honors.

That being said, I think it’s interesting to monitor who the Broncos are bringing in. With Von Miller on injured reserve and Brandon Marshall promoted to the active roster, the Broncos signed former Northern Illinois receiver Nathan Palmer, who is a really interesting young prospect.

He’s bounced around the league since 2012 getting signed by San Francisco after the draft, spending time with Indianapolis and Miami before now joining the Broncos.

Palmer is just 5’11” 192 pounds, but he’s a freakish athlete. His Pro Day numbers would rival those of any top WR prospect, running a 4.34 second 40 yard dash and posting a 37-inch vertical jump.

The Broncos are trying to replace the deep explosive ability they lost when they had to make a tough roster decision on fifth round pick Tavarres King, who is now a member of the Carolina Panthers. King could very well wind up back with the Broncos at some point if the Panthers let him go, but for now, the Broncos are going to try to move along.

Here are my pre-draft notes on Palmer from 2012:

  • Speedy, athletic player capable of making big plays
  • Pretty productive considering he played with a running QB
  • Phenomenal measurables
  • Any late round, unheralded receiver will be compared to Victor Cruz, but he has similar looking game
  • Pretty sure-handed
  • Potential to be a really dangerous return man