3 recently added Broncos players who are already cut candidates in 2024

These players might have short tenures with the Broncos...
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

For many players around the league, training camp and preseason games could end up being the last shot they ever get at making an NFL roster. Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton has made it known throughout the course of the last two years that the primary goal of training camp and the preseason is obvious -- to arrive at the best 53-man roster possible. Payton doesn't want to let players out of the building who go on to have success elsewhere and wonder where they went wrong in the evaluation.

For a number of recently acquired players, the journey as members of the Denver Broncos could be a short one.

As in, they might already be cut candidates in 2024. Let's look at a trio of situations on the roster and what could develop over the next couple of months.

New additions who might not make Broncos 53-man roster this summer

1. Devaughn Vele, wide receiver

The Denver Broncos just used a 7th-round pick on Devaughn Vele, a wide receiver prospect out of Utah. Vele had a strong performance at rookie minicamp and stood out for his Tim Patrick-like qualities, but he might have a brutal time making the final 53-man roster.

Vele is an older rookie at 26 years old (he will turn 27 in December). While that doesn't really matter in terms of his potential contributions this year, it could ultimately be somewhat of a factor when you consider some other younger, cost-controlled players who could take one of potentially five or six receiver spots on the team.

How Vele factors into the special teams equation could make all the difference. The Broncos are likely to keep all of Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Josh Reynolds, Marvin Mims, and Troy Franklin. That leaves just one potential spot for a wide variety of players, including a guy with tremendous kickoff return capabilities in Jalen Virgil. Vele might need to spend the year on the practice squad in 2024.

2. Dondrea Tillman, EDGE/DL

The Broncos are listing Dondrea Tillman as an outside linebacker, but at 270 pounds, it would be slightly shocking if he didn't either float between the EDGE and defensive line or be asked to drop about 10-15 pounds before training camp.

The Broncos signed Tillman to a three-year contract after he proved to be one of the best defensive players in the entire UFL. Despite that investment, the risk attached from Denver's perspective is minimal. Tillman is going to have to prove over the course of training camp and preseason games that he belongs among an NFL 53-man roster. Signing him was a risk worth taking for the Broncos, but he's not guaranteed anything.

3. Andre Smith, linebacker

One of the most recent additions to the Denver Broncos roster is minicamp tryout linebacker Andre Smith, who has a lot of experience playing special teams at the NFL level. Smith is a 27-year-old journeyman who has 52 career tackles including a career-high 19 tackles last season.

The Broncos are seeking out depth at the off-ball linebacker position as well as looking for guys who could be a factor with the league's new kickoff return rules. Smith obviously was impressive at minicamp but how will he look when the pads come on?