One Denver Broncos undrafted free agent gem could really shock fans throughout the preseason with big-time speed and playmaking ability.
It’s the offseason, and not just the offseason, but the off season.
NFL teams are not at their respective facilities for another month. We’re in the dog days of the offseason which means we can get excited about things that have not yet come to pass.
One of the most interesting things to speculate about is what undrafted players will rise from anonymity to become sort of household names in the near future.
The Denver Broncos had a big class of UDFAs in 2022 with some fascinating talent on both sides of the ball.
One of the most interesting players is former Appalachian State wide receiver and return specialist Jalen Virgil, whose body of work in college statistically wasn’t much to write home about.
At least, not as a receiver.
Virgil played a whopping 54 games at Appalachian State and caught just 98 passes for 1,436 yards and 11 touchdowns.
That’s a good individual season for some guys at the college level.
What set Jalen Virgil apart from other players at the college level was his ability to return kicks. He was one of the best in the nation at it.
In the last three seasons, Virgil had just 38 returns but averaged over 30 yards per return and had three touchdowns.
And this man can absolutely fly.
Where things become extremely interesting with Jalen Virgil is what happens in preseason games.
The Denver Broncos’ current plan at the return spots has to be fifth-round pick Montrell Washington, who has recently been projected to the NFL.com preseason All-Rookie team.
Washington may be the guy the Broncos prioritized in the NFL Draft, but preseason games are the perfect time for an undrafted player like Jalen Virgil to make himself uncuttable.
He will get opportunities to return kicks and hopefully punts, even though he didn’t return punts in college.
He will get chances to show that he can be a difference-maker in that phase and preseason games could be all the difference.
We’ve seen in recent years that it’s not impossible for an undrafted player to surpass a higher draft choice.
As a matter of fact, Phillip Lindsay did that as recently as 2018 when he took the RB1 job from third-round pick Royce Freeman and became the first undrafted rookie running back to make the Pro Bowl in NFL history.
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I’m not saying Jalen Virgil is going to do that, but good kickoff returners are tough to come by nowadays. If Virgil can put some good stuff on film in preseason games, he could make enough waves to crack the 53-man roster.