Which undrafted rookie makes the team?
Answered by: Sayre Bedinger
The Denver Broncos are known for turning undrafted free agents into household names. Back in the 90s, it was Rod Smith who set the bar extremely high for undrafted players.
When John Elway took over the team as an executive, he signed Chris Harris Jr. in his first ever undrafted rookie class.
Two years later, Elway’s staff brought in running back CJ Anderson.
Last year, the Broncos signed undrafted star Phillip Lindsay, who became the first undrafted offensive player to make the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Ever.
Needless to say, the Broncos have a great track record of undrafted players and while all of the aforementioned players made the Pro Bowl at some point or another, there have been a ton of UDFAs to make the team and make an impact without making the Pro Bowl.
The Broncos may not have a Pro Bowl caliber UDFA among this year’s crop, but I think they have some studs and I don’t think we’ll see just one UDFA make the final roster.
The most likely UDFA to make the team? My money is on quarterback Brett Rypien. Rypien chose the Broncos over other situations and while Denver drafted Drew Lock, Rypien merely has to prove himself worthy of developmental investment and I think he will get the QB3 spot over Kevin Hogan.
Outside of the obvious, the Broncos have a couple of spots on the roster clearly up for grabs. They need tackle depth, and that should be good news for guys like Quinn Bailey and John Leglue.
The Broncos also have a desperate need in the return game, and they brought in players in Kelvin McKnight and Trinity Benson at wide receiver who also have return experience. Could one of those guys prove too dangerous in the return game to stash on the practice squad?
There’s also a gem coming off the edge in Malik Reed, the undrafted linebacker out of Nevada. Reed was turning heads at OTAs, and there may be an OLB spot to be won this year.
Another darkhorse here is Alijah Holder, a cornerback out of Stanford who was given a pretty hefty bonus to sign with the Broncos.
Holder’s injuries limited him in college but he was on a possible day two/day three trajectory before the injuries caused some inconsistency in his tape. Can he stay healthy? If he can, he can crack the roster.