Undrafted free agents are vital to Denver Broncos success
By Andrew Wade
Denver’s history with undrafted free agents
Denver has had quite a storied history of success when it comes to finding value in undrafted free agents. As things currently stand, Denver has five starters that were initially undrafted (Keenum, Harris, Davis, Shaquil Barrett, and Darian Stewart). This number was even higher before the CJ Anderson release.
It’s worthwhile to note that Keenum, Davis, and Stewart were initially signed by other teams before coming to Denver, but the point still stands. There is a lot of value in finding these diamonds in the rough.
In addition to finding starters through the UDFA process, Denver has done a tremendous job of finding depth with these players. Up until the 2015 season, Denver went 11 consecutive years with an undrafted free agent making the opening game 53 man roster. An undrafted free agent made the roster both in 2016 and 2017 to make it 13 out of 14 seasons.
Denver hasn’t just been successful in the John Elway era with undrafted free agents either. Arguably the best wide receiver in Denver Broncos history, Rod Smith, is a former undrafted free agent. He went on to catch 849 passes for 11,389 yards and 68 touchdowns.
These are all Denver Broncos franchise records.