Zach Kerr an underrated addition to Denver Broncos D-Line

Sayre Bedinger
Dec 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Indianapolis Colts nose tackle Zach Kerr (94) celebrates his interception against the Minnesota Vikings before it was overturned in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Colts win 34-6. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Indianapolis Colts nose tackle Zach Kerr (94) celebrates his interception against the Minnesota Vikings before it was overturned in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Colts win 34-6. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Denver Broncos have a history of making shrewd moves in free agency. Defensive end Zach Kerr looks like he could be a steal…

When all is said and done, the Indianapolis Colts might regret letting Zach Kerr get away. New general manager Chris Ballard is throwing out the old with the Colts, including a rotational defensive end that appears primed for a bigger role in an NFL defense.

It just so happens that now, Kerr is about to join the best defense in the NFL. Not only that, he is filling potentially the team’s greatest weakness at right defensive end, providing an early-down run stuffer and penetrator the Broncos desperately lacked last season.

Kerr’s path to success in the NFL is really an incredible story.

His father was tragically killed when Zach was still just a baby. He grew up with his mother and two sisters in the Northeast part of the country where times were tough. You can read the full length story on Kerr here, and see some of the details of his story, and his journey to the NFL.

After he picked up football in high school, Kerr earned a scholarship to Maryland where he played as a freshman and sophomore. In 2011, Maryland head coach Randy Edsall kicked him off the team due to his behavior off the field.

"“I went from playing at Maryland to living in my niece’s room, no money, no scholarship, no classes, damn near no friends,” he said. “There were a couple of teammates, who are like my brothers now, who stuck with me. But for the most part, it was just my family and a couple friends. For that year, I felt alone. I had nothing. I went from not worrying about anything to having to ask my mom for money when she’s working two jobs. That’ll wake you up quick.”"

Kerr was looking into life after football before he ultimately wound up playing again at Delaware. He worked his way back to becoming a draftable prospect, but alas, he went undrafted in 2014 before being picked up as an undrafted player with the Indianapolis Colts.

At 330-plus pounds, Kerr ran a 5.03 second 40-yard dash at the 2014 scouting combine and threw up 28 bench press reps.

The Colts got a steal in Kerr, who had three sacks as an undrafted rookie. He continue to work his way into the rotation more and more over the last couple of years, and had 2.5 sacks as a rotational player this past season.

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It’s only by rare circumstance that Kerr was even available to the Broncos this offseason. As a restricted free agent, he was shockingly not tendered and became an unrestricted free agent. The Colts let him go for nothing, and didn’t even give themselves a chance to match an offer sheet.

The Broncos aren’t complaining.

Kerr was signed less than 48 hours into the new league year to potentially step in and be a starting defensive end. Despite having the ideal frame for the nose tackle position, Kerr is listed as a defensive end and could wind up playing a similar role to that of Vance Walker on the 2015 defense. He’s athletic enough to penetrate, but stout at the point of attack and can hold up against the run.

Now expecting a child with his girlfriend and future wife, Kerr has a new beginning with the Denver Broncos and a chance to continue growing as a player on one of the best defenses in the NFL. While adding Domata Peko on the same day forces the headlines the other direction, the best player the Broncos got could wind up being Zach Kerr.

He has a high ceiling and is exactly the type of player the Broncos love. He’s got a chip on his shoulder, and now potentially even more so with the Colts letting him go for nothing.

He’ll bring physicality, toughness, quickness, and versatility to the Broncos’ defensive line. This is another excellent pickup by John Elway and the front office.

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