ENGLEWOOD, Colo—The Denver Broncos kicked off their rookie mini-camp today at their Dove Valley facilities. It’s an exciting time of year—the new faces in new environs, competing with one another to prove that they belong in the NFL.
However, the group of 36 rookies battling to keep their football dream alive face an uphill battle. The Broncos made nine selections in the NFL Draft over the weekend. Not all of them will make the final 53-man roster this coming August.
For the undrafted rookies, free agent rookies, practice squad holdovers, and tryout players, the task is even more daunting because they not only have to compete with the Broncos actual draft picks, but they’re up against the prospect of trying to crack one of the most well-constructed and deepest rosters in the NFL.
In reality, there are only a small handful of available spots on the roster. Only the rookies who truly set themselves apart and provide a unique value have a hope of making the final cuts. But it all begins today. In this article, I’m going to tell you who everyone will be talking about after rookie mini-camp.
1. Zaire Anderson Will Turn Some Heads
Anderson didn’t hear his name called over the weekend in Chicago. But he’s a former JUCO player with a lot of heart. At 5-foot-11, 220 pounds, he isn’t a prototypical NFL linebacker, but neither was Wesley Woodyard when he came out of Kentucky in 2008.
Anderson faces the prospect of probably being asked to compete as a safety. He’s a quick, instinctual tackling machine and that motor is going to flash over the weekend at the Broncos rookie camp. Expect to hear good things about Anderson.
2. Kyle Roberts Will Emerge As The Best OL Of The Undrafted
3. Lorenzo Doss Shows Off His Ballhawking Skills
Doss is a very opportunistic cornerback, snagging 15 interceptions in his three-year collegiate career at Tulane. The Broncos drafted him in the fifth round to push the competition at the bottom of their cornerback depth chart.
He will have to learn that forcing an incompletion is often as good as making an interception, because in the NFL, quarterbacks know how to take advantage of unchecked aggression. It can lead to getting burned in the big leagues.
4. Karl Schmitz Puts The Pressure On Britton Colquitt Early
The Broncos are paying a ridiculous sum of money to their punter Britton Colquitt. With a $3M base salary, he is the team’s tenth-highest paid player in 2015. It’s too much for a punter. Colquitt has taken a step backward over the past couple seasons and ranked No. 25 in the NFL in punting average with 44.2 yards per attempt in 2014.
More Broncos Draft Stories
John Elway wants to see if Schmitz, a specialist who can nail 70-yard field goals, has what it takes to play at the NFL level. Schmitz has been out of football for a while, but the Broncos gave him a contract to see if he can parlay his big leg into a lasting role with the team.
5. Tevrin Brandon Emerges As The Favorite CB To Make The Roster
The Broncos signed Brandon to a three-year, $1.575M deal in January, which means they really like this kid. With sub-4.40 speed, he is a burner on the grid-iron. However, at 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, he needs to add some weight to his body.
The Broncos are reportedly impressed with his coverage skills. He’s a fluid athlete and he’s hungry. The former Monmouth University star may have gone undrafted in 2014, but he finally got his chance with a team who clearly has some faith in him.