The Denver Broncos have three visits set up for Thursday and Friday. Former Kansas City Chiefs defensive linemen Vance Walker and former Baltimore Ravens free safety Darian Stewart will visit on Thursday, while former Miami Dolphins offensive linemen Shelley Smith is scheduled to visit on Friday. All three players would provide depth, or could be a potential starter at their respective positions.
Walker is set to visit with the Broncos on Thursday. He has been in the NFL since 2009 and has played with the Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders before joining the Chiefs. With the Chiefs, Walker was a backup on the defensive line and saw time at both defensive end positions in their 3-4 defensive front. With how Wade Phillips runs his 3-4 defense, Walker can even contribute at nose tackle. He would add much needed depth to the defensive line.
In limited snaps, Walker showed he has a place on a 53-man roster in the NFL. With the Broncos currently having only four 3-4 defensive linemen, depth is needed. Previously interested in Kendall Langford, the Broncos moved on when his asking price leapt beyond their range. We should expect something similar with Walker. The Broncos will have their price range. If the visit goes well and the prices match, Walker makes a lot of sense for the Broncos.
Stewart flies into Denver Wednesday night and reportedly will meet briefly with Denver before they get down to business on Thursday. Likely, Wednesday is an opportunity to see the facilities and meet staffers. While with the Ravens in 2014, Stewart started at both safety positions and played them both really well. His versatility will add the final piece to the Broncos safety corps.
The Broncos are likely parting ways with safety Rahim Moore and need a starter to replace him. There are reports that the Broncos are looking to move cornerback Kayvon Webster to free safety. They also have David Bruton on the roster. If they were to sign Stewart, he would provide another piece to the competition and extra depth at both safety positions. Like with every free agent the Broncos look at this year, it all comes down to Stewart's asking price.
Smith played the past season with the Dolphins as a backup guard and saw limited action on the field. He had a rough 2014 season, allowing a total of 10 pressures on 367 snaps taken. In 2013, while Smith was with the St. Louis Rams, he allowed 18 total pressures on 371 snaps. He has struggled in pass protection, even in limited action. However, his run grade via Pro Football Focus in 2013 was a +13.2, which was seventh best in the NFL. However, his run grade in 2014 was in the negative and in the bottom half of the league.
Smith's visit depends on whether he leaves Seattle without an offer from the Seahawks. He meets with them on Thursday. If he does make it out of the Emerald City a free man, the Broncos may look to try and sign him on a cheaper deal to provide depth at offensive guard.
While they are not big splashes, the Broncos are working to add players in free agency. If they don’t sign any of these three, expect the Broncos to move on to other second and third-tier free agents on the open market whom they can get on team-friendly deals. This is a strategy that can help the Broncos in multiple ways down the road.
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OFFENSE: Quarterback | Running back | Tight end |
Offensive tackle | Offensive guard | Center
DEFENSE: Defensive tackle | Defensive end | Outside linebacker |
Inside linebacker | Safety | Cornerback
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