The Denver Broncos reportedly signed 15 players, including their 10-man practice squad, to reserve/futures contracts for the 2020 season.
The Denver Broncos reportedly signed all 10 of their practice squad players to reserve/futures contracts and added another five players who were free agents on reserve/future deals.
These reserve/futures players are typically longshot types of guys, but the Broncos have found some gems among this crop in recent years, including defensive lineman Shelby Harris who has gone from a reserve/futures player to being a big-money defensive lineman who led the NFL in passes batted down (10) this season.
The Broncos started making moves to bring up guys from their practice squad a few weeks ago and had obviously identified other players in free agency they wanted a leg up on for reserve/futures deals, so they found ways to get those guys in the program sooner than later.
According to Mike Klis, here are the players that signed, and I’ll give a little piece on what we know about them.
QB Brett Rypien
Rypien spent most of the season on the practice squad but was called up to the 53-man roster for a spell as the backup to Brandon Allen in the middle of the year.
Rypien didn’t show all that well in preseason play last year, but the Broncos like his fit in their system and Rypien obviously likes his fit in it as well. We’ll see what kind of strides he makes from year one to year two but I liked him a lot coming out of Boise State.
RB Khalfani Muhammad
I’m still scratching my head that we didn’t see a single snap from Muhammad on the active roster this year after his strong preseason play. He was dynamic and electric. Devontae Booker is heading to free agency, but the Broncos could draft someone to replace him.
Muhammad has skills and big-time speed.
WR Trinity Benson
The Broncos must have really loved what they were seeing from Fred Brown in practices and on special teams, because he made zero impact offensively. Trinity Benson has huge speed and maybe could have gotten a shot, but the team is being patient with him.
Not only is he a burner, but he’s also got return ability.
WR Kelvin McKnight
The Broncos initially had signed McKnight as an undrafted player out of Samford, and then after cuts, they didn’t sign him to the practice squad. He worked out for other teams around the league, including the Patriots, and wound up signing back with the Broncos’ practice squad where he finished out the year.
He’s a slot-type receiver with better quickness and open-field vision than deep speed.
TE Bug Howard
I could have sworn Bug Howard was on injured reserve for the Broncos, but apparently at some point they released him with an injury settlement. He returned to the practice squad which was a pleasant surprise.
Howard made plays in training camp and has excellent pass catching abilities. I’d love to see more of him in games.
OLB Malik Carney
Carney was productive at North Carolina as an edge player, but is not a ‘traits’ guy. His productivity in college over the course of three or four years leads me to believe he’s a smart player, but obviously he needed time to get acclimated to the system.
The Broncos brought plenty of DL/EDGE players up off the practice squad and Carney was kept down for a reason. We’ll see what he’s got come training camp/preseason.
OT Ka’John Armstrong
Armstrong is a relatively new addition to the Broncos. He’s a rookie from Eastern Michigan who has ridiculously long arms (over 35 inches) and an ideal frame for the offensive tackle position.
He spent some time with Jacksonville and comes to the Broncos who are desperately seeking depth on the offensive line. He’ll get a shot to compete.
SAF PJ Locke
The hard-hitting PJ Locke out of Texas is a fun player to watch from his college days. He had a big senior season for the Longhorns with 77 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and a pick.
There’s a place in Denver’s defense for this kind of ‘dime backer’ prospect.
SAF Tyvis Powell
Powell is unique among this crop in that he has some experience playing regular season games in the NFL. The former Ohio State Buckeyes safety has a chance to compete for a backup role in 2020.
DL Jay-Tee Tiuli
Tiuli played his college ball at Eastern Washington, which has produced some fun NFL talent in recent years (Cooper Kupp, Kendrick Bourne). Tiuli could be the latest.
After watching some of his highlights, it’s clear this guy packs a punch, he’s nasty on the interior, he’s strong, and he has excellent size. He also has good athleticism for the defensive tackle position.
Fascinated to see if he can develop.
SAF Kahani Smith
New to the Broncos, Kahani Smith was a JUCO transfer who played two seasons for UTEP and was very productive for them.
He had a couple of defensive TDs his first year on campus and then broke up 10 passes while racking up 81 total tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss last season. He didn’t test great athletically but he was obviously a productive player in college.
RB/FB Jeremy Cox
Checked into the pre-draft process at 223 pounds and ran a 4.42 in the 40 with a 39-inch vertical jump and 25 bench press reps.
I’m not sure if he’s a true fullback or what he is yet, but he’s a big-time athlete. He played his college ball at Old Dominion.
LB Tre Crawford
Another really fun athlete, Crawford played his college ball with the recently resurrected UAB program and was very productive there in 2018.
He finished his final collegiate season with 42 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and a couple of fumble recoveries. He plays at 100 miles an hour at all times and has some pretty insane measurables.
At 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, Crawford ran a 4.65 in the 40-yard dash with an absolutely ridiculous 42-inch vertical jump.
LS Wes Farnsworth
The Broncos bring in some competition for Casey Kreiter, who has been a solid longsnapper for the team for a while now.
Farnsworth played his college ball at Nevada and had a workout with the Broncos earlier in December.
P Trevor Daniel
Daniel spent some time with the Houston Texans before getting his shot with the Broncos. Denver is obviously going to be looking for someone to provide Colby Wadman with competition as Wadman has struggled the majority of his two seasons with Denver.
Daniel is known for his big leg but also a tendency to out-kick coverage at times.
He should excel in the mile-high air.