Possible offensive weapon among intriguing Broncos minicamp tryout players

The Broncos are hosting 7 tryout veteran free agents at their mandatory minicamp. Is there any intriguing name?
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos started their three-day mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, and as expected, veteran free agents are participating on a tryout basis. Denver already had multiple tryout players during their rookie minicamp but did not sign any. Could there be any keepers this time around?

Four have appeared in at least one regular season game; the other three have been part of practice squads and rookie minicamps. Now, they will have the opportunity to impress coaches and eventually earn a contract with the Denver Broncos.

Let's take a look at who these players are:

Andre Smith Jr. - linebacker:

Smith is a former seventh-round pick by the Carolina Panthers who was selected in the 2018 NFL Draft. Of the seven players, Smith has the most experience, appearing in 62 games for four teams.

He was with the Atlanta Falcons in 2023 where he started in one game, appearing in 11. He finished the season with 19 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and a pass breakup, appearing most of the time on special teams, but still contributing defensively.

During his six-year career so far, Smith has 52 tackles (35 solo), one tackle for loss, two forced fumbles (2 recoveries), and one pass breakup. So far, Denver has a three-way competition at the linebacker position between Cody Barton, Jonas Griffith, and UDFA Leville Bailey who has impressed.

Smith had a 77.1 PFF grade in 2023, higher than Barton's (53.9) and Griffith's in 2022 before his injury (52.9).

With his experience and special teams versatility, Andre Smith Jr. could be a reasonable addition to a linebacker room in competition following the Josey Jewell loss in free agency.

Jordan Kunaszyk - linebacker:

Alongside Smith, Kunaszyk is also an experienced linebacker with the ability to play in special teams, he made the Carolina Panthers' 53-man roster as an undrafted free agent during his rookie season. Besides Carolina, Kunaszyk has played for Washington and the Cleveland Browns most recently. With the Browns, Jordan had his career-high in tackles (22, 14 solo) in 15 games (two starts).

Throughout his career, Kunaszyk has 45 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and a pass breakup in 46 games. As I mentioned before with Smith, Jordan is also a versatile player whose addition could make sense with competition at the linebacker position if he has a good camp.

Feleipe Franks - tight end:

This one is probably the most intriguing name of the seven. Franks, a former Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback and an MLB Draft pick by the Boston Red Sox who turned into a tight end during his second season in the NFL.

The Falcons signed Franks as an undrafted free agent, and he served as the third-string quarterback behind Matt Ryan and Josh Rosen during his rookie year, making appearances in nine games with three pass attempts. In year two, he transitioned to tight end during camp. He also made appearances on special teams during both seasons. He was waived after the 2022-23 season due to an injury and did not play in 2023.

Denver secured Adam Trautman's return in free agency and bolstered their room by adding two undrafted free agents. With Franks' versatility and the ongoing uncertainty at the position, he could earn a contract with Denver.

If Franks has a good camp, he could earn a contract with Denver, and the Broncos could have their own 'Swiss Army Knife' similar to what Sean Payton had in New Orleans with Taysom Hill. Not only a tight end who can throw but a player with special teams experience.

Hunter Kampmoyer - tight end:

Kampmoyer has appeared in an NFL game once, making him the fourth player to do so (out of the seven tryout guys). However, compared to Smith, Kunaszyk, and Franks, he has the least experience in regular season games, having played only one game back in 2022 against the Denver Broncos in week 17.

He originally signed with the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2021. He has remained on the practice squad throughout his career, with only one activation for the previously-mentioned game. After his rookie season, Hunter Kampmoyer signed a futures/reserves contract. He spent his second season on the practice squad, signing another futures/reserves contract for 2023. However, following this past season, his contract became invalid, and he did not receive one for 2024.

The other three tryout veterans are the following:

  • Ra'Shaun Henry - wide receiver
  • Kyler McMichael - defensive back
  • Blaine Hoover - defensive line