Nathan Jacobson getting shot with Broncos after rookie tryout

Sayre Bedinger
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 02: A logo on the field marks the 50th anniversary season of the UNLV Rebels football program as the Rebels line up to run a play against the Howard Bison at Sam Boyd Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Howard won 43-40. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 02: A logo on the field marks the 50th anniversary season of the UNLV Rebels football program as the Rebels line up to run a play against the Howard Bison at Sam Boyd Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Howard won 43-40. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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The Denver Broncos signed three players after their rookie minicamp, including offensive lineman Nathan Jacobson out of UNLV.

Even playing for four seasons and starting three straight years at UNLV doesn’t get you much national attention these days, especially if you’re playing on the offensive line at 6-foot-5, 280 pounds.

But new Denver Broncos offensive lineman Nathan Jacobson has made it to an NFL training camp despite overwhelming odds stacked against him.

Let’s take a quick look, shall we?

He comes from a program in the Mountain West that has won 16 of their last 48 games.

He is listed at 6’5″ 280 pounds as an offensive tackle.

He was injured before his UNLV pro day and thus unable to work out at full speed for scouts.

He was undrafted and wasn’t even signed to a typical UDFA contract.

Do I need to go on?

The point is, Jacobson was a complete afterthought for NFL teams but not for the Broncos and apparently, not for Canadian football, either. In this nice piece on Jacobson from HeraldNet, Jacobson reveals the Broncos were the only NFL team to offer him even a tryout at their rookie camp.

The Broncos had 47 rookies or young players at their rookie minicamp and Jacobson was one of 20 guys there on a tryout basis. The Broncos ended up signing three of them, including Jacobson after he impressed in the OTA session finally able to move at full speed.

A three-year starter at right tackle for the Rebels, Jacobson talked in that article (linked above) about the Broncos perhaps using him as a center, an avenue he could take to find his way at least onto the practice squad.

Jacobson is going to need to add weight to play in the NFL. I can’t think of any current linemen who are as big (6’5″) and lean (280) pounds as this particular guy, but he said one of the reasons coaches liked what he was doing in the rookie camp was his ability to get out and move in space.

Of course, Jacobson is going to have to prove he can keep that mobility and add some functional weight and strength, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Guys who are 6’5″ should easily be able to carry 295-305 pounds and who knows how long that might take for Jacobson?

He doesn’t have to gain it all immediately, but my guess is the Broncos will want to see him develop in the weight room before they throw him out there in regular season ball.

The good news for Jacobson? He couldn’t have made it into a better situation.

He is on a unit coached by perhaps the best offensive line coach in the NFL in Mike Munchak. He’s playing with a group that lost a good chunk of its players from last year and is likely to keep at least one or two of the undrafted guys it brought in.

The odds are in his favor in that regard and after a strong collegiate career, Jacobson will even have an extra preseason game to put tape out there for the Broncos and other teams to put together a full evaluation of his game, probably at multiple positions up front.

Next. Broncos position groups ranked best to worst. dark

He’s one to watch.

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