Broncos invite Walter Payton Award winning QB to minicamp
The Broncos are bringing Eastern Washington star QB Eric Barriere in for a tryout at rookie minicamp. Can the touted prospect put down roots in Denver?
As the dust of the 2022 NFL Draft settles, we’ve been getting to know our new rookie class from front to back. There are a lot of names to get excited about here on both sides of the ball, and one more intriguing move happened today that flew under the radar.
Denver is bringing in the 2021 Walter Payton Award winner Eric Barriere out of Eastern Washington for rookie minicamp.
This award, essentially the Heisman for FCS level ball is given in honor of Walter Payton, who represented Jackson State ahead of his HoF run with the Bears. Former winners include Steve McNair, Cooper Kupp, Tony Romo, Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance.
Eric Barriere will hope to follow in their footsteps and make an impact in the NFL. He brings some great tools to the table, and while he’s been hit with the ol’ dual-threat label, watching him play I think he’s a dual-threat in several ways.
He can post up in the pocket, or extend plays with his legs. He can fire it in there with a zippy release, or float one over the top.
He can set his feet and drive into the ball, or make some eye-popping off-platform throws. And yes, he absolutely can make it happen on the ground.
He had 1585 rush yards and 22 touchdowns in his career, yet it’s his raw talent as a passer that’s intriguing to me, and clearly to the Broncos coaching staff as well.
In his senior year, in 13 games, he passed for 5070 yards, 46 TDs, and just 8 picks. Over the course of his career, he improved his completion %, TD%, and overall production, just like you’d hope to see.
Though he was hoping to be selected in the NFL draft, he ended up not being called on as the clock wound down. It was a strange year for quarterbacks, with just one going in the first 70 picks, and it was only the 3rd time since 2001 that only one QB went in the first round.
How does Barriere fit with the Denver Broncos?
I do believe Barriere is going into a good situation here in minicamp. The Broncos obviously have their franchise QB in Russell Wilson and a veteran backup in Josh Johnson. Even though QB3 Brett Rypien has endeared himself to the organization with his football IQ and steady presence, Barriere has the chance to flash tools that this coaching staff can’t ignore.
He’s got a heck of a resume to just be a camp arm, and I hope he really gets a chance to stick. And as much as I love Ryp he is a holdover from the last regime, and there is the chance that Hackett is looking to bring in a young prospect of his own.
The chance to earn a spot and learn behind a future Hall of Famer is a huge opportunity, and Eric Barriere would be a great developmental prospect to sit behind Russ.
Denver Broncos have some gems among 13 undrafted free agents
The Denver Broncos may have found some gems among their 2022 undrafted free agent class, which includes 13 new players added to the roster.
Whether he ends up earning a roster spot, running the scout team on the practice squad, or just getting some good reps in minicamp, it’s a great place to start his pro career. Welcome to Denver!