2014 NFL Draft: Scouting Denver Broncos UDFA Kenny Anunike, DE, Duke
Dec 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Texas A&M Aggies offensive linesman Jake Matthews (75) sets to pass block Duke Blue Devils defensive end Kenny Anunike (84) during the second quarter in the 2013 Chick-fil-a Bowl at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
The Broncos have a pretty long history of undrafted players not only making the final 53-man roster, but they’ve also got guys making significant contributions.
Naturally, you could understand why the UDFA period is an exciting one for Broncos fans across the board, especially those who love the draft. I want to take a closer look at each player the Broncos have picked up, who can make an impact and how, and what guys are bringing to the table as young prospects.
Kenny Anunike, DE, Duke
Wt: 260 lbs.
Bench: 23 reps
13.5 tackles for loss
What Anunike Brings to the Table
A sixth-year redshirt senior who has battled through a variety of injuries is one of the biggest reasons why the Duke Blue Devils football program is on the map.
Anunike, despite not racking up gawdy numbers is Duke’s all time leading sack artist with 15 over the course of his career. As a senior in 2013, he collected 67 tackles, six sacks, and 13.5 tackles for loss as well as a blocked kick, a forced fumble, and two pass breakups.
He impressed scouts at the Duke pro day with his athletic ability as a former tight end prospect coming out of high school, not dropping a single pass in coverage drills. He was a second-team All-ACC selection this past year, and is considered a, “vocal leader who brings aggressive and emotional personality to the defense … possesses tremendous upper body strength” per the Duke team site.
The Broncos had talked to Anunike’s teammate, cornerback Ross Cockrell prior to the draft as well. Cockrell wound up being picked in the fourth round by the Buffalo Bills, but the Broncos obviously came away impressed with a couple of Duke players since they also signed running back Juwan Thompson.
In the NFL, you can never have enough pass rushers and the Broncos clearly subscribe to that theory. Last year, they kept undrafted free agent John Youboty on the practice squad all season, and if they feel like he’s ready for a bump to the active roster or like they could hold another player on the PS, perhaps Anunike can stick with the team in that capacity. Denver is pretty deep up front, so Anunike faces an uphill battle to make the roster but he’s an interesting prospect.