Denver Broncos: Mark Chapman joins Broncos after spurning CFL
The Denver Broncos made a couple of roster moves on Wednesday, reportedly adding the number one pick in the CFL Draft, WR Mark Chapman…
On Wednesday, it was reported that the Denver Broncos would be placing wide receiver Carlos Henderson on the Reserve/Did Not Report list to open training camp. The team confirmed the report, originally from Mike Klis, on Wednesday evening.
It was also reported on Wednesday that the Broncos were going to sign former Central Michigan wide receiver Mark Chapman ahead of training camp, a deal that is fairly significant considering what has transpired since Chapman was let go by the New York Giants as a minicamp tryout.
Chapman was unable to stick with an NFL team after rookie minicamp, but he was a coveted prospect by the Canadian Football League.
So much so, in fact, that he was the number one overall pick in the CFL Draft by the Hamilton Tigercats, a team coached by June Jones and also the team that signed (and has since traded) former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Along with Henderson not reporting to camp on July 28th, the Broncos also placed wide receiver Jimmy Williams — an undrafted free agent rookie out of East Carolina — on the Reserve/Did Not Report list.
Williams is reportedly contemplating his future in football.
Without those two receivers and likely also without Jordan Taylor, who is expected to go on the Physically Unable to Perform list, the Broncos are down a few bodies at receiver (one of the team’s deepest positions) heading into training camp.
The addition of Chapman certainly helps ease the pain of these losses.
Chapman led Central Michigan in 2017 in receiving yards and finished with a career-high five touchdowns, three of which came against the hapless Kansas Jayhawks, who were victims of the best game of Chapman’s college career.
During the CFL Draft broadcast — yes, we looked it up — the analysts talking about Hamilton’s selection were absolutely raving about Chapman’s skills.
Despite running a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash at the Central Michigan pro day, Chapman is frequently leaving defenders in the dust in some of the game highlights I watched. He’s got solid hands and the CFL analysts were really complimentary of his route running abilities.
Considering the fact that with the Broncos, he’s merely a late undrafted free agent addition, it’s important to temper expectations here but perhaps this guy really is a diamond in the rough and the NFL got it wrong initially.
Chapman was unable to come to an agreement on a contract with the Tigercats after being picked first overall, perhaps with hopes in the back of his mind that an opportunity like this would arise.
In a strange twist of fate, new Denver Broncos wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni is a fellow former Chippewa and was once the CMU wide receivers coach.
He did not coach Chapman, but the connection is somewhat interesting and you have to wonder if his ties to CMU had anything to do with Chapman coming to the Broncos.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Chapman will get the chance to compete in a very crowded wide receiver group for the Broncos.