ENGLEWOOD, Colo—The Denver Broncos announced that they have agreed to terms with nine undrafted college free agents (UDFA), bringing their total crop of talent mined in from the collegiate ranks in 2015 to 18 players. These are the prospects who have NFL-caliber talent, but didn't hear their names called on draft day.
I really like the Zaire Anderson pickup. He was a tackling machine at WILL linebacker for the Huskers in 2014. Nebraska officially listed him in 2014 at 5-foot-11, 220 pounds, which means he needs to add a little weight to his frame, however. He notched 103 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss and 3 forced fumbles in 2014.
The Broncos added to their wide receiver depth by bringing in Boise State’s Matt Miller and Rice’s Jordan Taylor. Both are big-bodied pass-catchers, with Miller coming in at 6-foot-3 and Taylor at 6-foot-5. With Wes Welker unlikely to return, one of these players has a real shot at making the final 53-man roster, but they’ll have to get through Jordan Norwood first.
The Broncos acquired another prototypical zone blocking scheme center in Mississippi State’s Dillon Day. The 6-foot-4, 299-pound center provides the Broncos another developmental player to groom behind Gino Gradkowski, Matt Paradis and 2015 fourth-round pick Max Garcia.
Another offensive lineman the Broncos agreed to terms with, Clemson’s Kalon Davis, is a 6-foot-5, 340-pound mauler at guard. He’s raw but he’s huge and the Broncos don’t have a lot of interior O-line depth beyond Louis Vasquez, Shelley Smith and Ben Garland. Garcia helps and if the team chooses to put Michael Schofield at guard, they’ll be in much better shape.
Wyoming’s Connor Rains is a 6-foot-7, 309-pound offensive tackle, who plays light on his feet. Nevada’s Kyle Roberts is 6-foot-6, 305 pounds and like Rains and Day, projects well as a developmental player in the zone blocking scheme.
Oklahoma’s Chuka Ndulue is a 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive lineman, who can be groomed to play any position on the Broncos odd-front line. Clemson’s Josh Watson fits a similar role, at 6-foot-4, 290 pounds.
The Denver Broncos have a rich history replete with UDFAs making the team and contributing, with the most recent success stories coming in the form of Juwan Thompson, C.J. Anderson, Aaron Brewer and Chris Harris, Jr. Two of those four players made the Pro Bowl in 2014. This new crop of undrafted players might have their work cut out for them, but the sky’s the limit.
We will have deeper analysis on each player coming soon.
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