Denver Broncos: 3 most surprising players to make the final roster

Denver Broncos UDFA edge rusher Andre Mintze. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos UDFA edge rusher Andre Mintze. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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Denver Broncos, Andre Mintze
Denver Broncos undrafted rookie Andre Mintze. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos have solidified their initial 53-man roster. Which players were the most surprising inclusions on the initial list?

The Denver Broncos have set their initial 53-man roster, which could change a bit between Tuesday and Wednesday after players that were cut around the league clear waivers. We know for a fact that the roster is going to change at least a little bit with the procedural moves of Mike Boone and Michael Ojemudia heading to short-term IR on Wednesday.

Those two moves could pave the way for recently released veterans Cam Fleming and Shamar Stephen to be re-added to the roster, or the Denver Broncos could look for contributors at other positions. Namely, they are going to be bringing in “at least three” wide receivers, according to general manager George Paton.

For the time being, we have a 53-man roster to react to, and players who made the team that were either on the fringe or in at least one case seemingly had no chance at all.

Which players were the most surprising inclusions on the 53-man roster, at least for now?

Let’s look at the top three.

Denver Broncos 3 most surprising 53-man roster inclusions

1. Andre Mintze, EDGE

On most of my final 53-man roster predictions, I had the Denver Broncos going with just four players off the edge. That was obviously with the thought that they would keep up to seven wide receivers and obviously, for the time being, they’re only going with five.

The decision to go heavy on defense with this initial roster paves the way for George Paton and Vic Fangio to keep a guy like Mintze, who showed his toughness, physicality, and ability to pick things up quickly according to the Denver Broncos head coach.

Mintze is a freak athletically who came out of Vanderbilt with rather unimpressive numbers compared to other prospects off the edge, but some outstanding tape.

His explosiveness, strength, and speed off the edge will obviously be huge helps to the Denver Broncos defensively, but he’ll also be expected to contribute immediately on special teams.

After he was signed by the Denver Broncos, Mintze put out a vlog on his YouTube page where he stated that Shaq Barrett was an inspiration to him and a big selling point from the Denver Broncos as a variety of teams pursued him. He saw what Barrett did this past season in Tampa Bay en route to a Super Bowl win and a big contract, and envisioned himself in that same type of scenario.

Barrett, signed as an undrafted player by the Broncos back in 2014, didn’t even make the team’s initial roster, so Mintze is already one step ahead in the process.

This is an extension of the Denver Broncos’ awesome and almost-annual tradition of an undrafted player defeating the odds to make the final roster.