Broncos going all-in on prominent UDFA with massive salary guarantee

The Broncos really wanted this guy after the 2024 NFL Draft
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos haven't drafted an offensive tackle since 2017 when they took Garett Bolles in the first round, but the team has made at least some substantial investments in the position under head coach Sean Payton.

The Broncos may have unearthed a gem last year when they signed former Illinois All-American Alex Palczewski, an undrafted rookie who made the roster out of training camp but was on IR most of the season. In 2024, it's clear the Broncos feel very strongly about another undrafted free agent offensive tackle: Wyoming's Frank Crum.

Frank Crum a steal for the Denver Broncos as 2024 UDFA

The Broncos got a "steal" in former Wyoming offensive tackle Frank Crum because they got him after the NFL Draft, but there's nothing about Crum that says he's a "steal" when you grade on the curve of what it typically costs to sign undrafted players.

Undrafted free agents are getting more and more these days from teams, but a $250,000 salary guarantee is one of the biggest in Denver Broncos history for undrafted players. A $25,000 signing bonus on top of it puts Crum at a whopping $275,000 in total guaranteed money. For a frame of reference of how high the Broncos are valuing Crum with that kind of guarantee, consider the fact that 6th-round pick JL Skinner received just over $196,000 in guaranteed money on his rookie contract last year.

It literally paid off for Crum to wait until after the NFL Draft to get his team. Not only did he get a bigger contract guarantee, but he also got to choose what situation he wanted to step into. And the Denver Broncos are a great situation for him.

Crum gets to work with offensive line coach Zach Strief in Denver, a coach who obviously helped Alex Palczewski make the roster as an undrafted player last year. He also gets to go to a situation where the left tackle position could realistically be up for grabs as soon as 2025.

Here's his draft report from analyst Lance Zierlein:

"Crum is a very tall tackle with loads of starting experience who has played both tackle spots. He has proportional arm length, which helps in both pass protection and as a run blocker in space. Crum has a difficult time finding the foot quickness to keep his lower body paired with his upper body. He will struggle with speed to the edge in pass protection and when attempting to maintain proper body control to mirror and sustain against moving targets. He's a better run blocker than pass blocker as a pro prospect but might find the going tough in a chase for a roster spot."

Lance Zierlein

Zierlein gave Crum a 6th-round projection. He had a 9.83 on the RAS scale after an incredible NFL Combine workout, which included him running a 4.94 in the 40-yard dash at 6-foot-8, 313 pounds.

The traits are all there. The opportunity is there. Now, Crum just has to go out there and put in the work to make sure he's on that 53-man roster as quickly as possible. If he has a good offseason, he could end up being the steal of the 2024 class for the Broncos.