Measurables: 5-foot-10, 180 pounds.
2014 stats: N/A *rookie.
When the Denver Broncos signed former Monmouth (NJ) standout cornerback Tevrin Brandon to a futures contract back in January, I was intrigued. Although his size indicates he’s not cut out for every-down life in the NFL, his 4.3-40 speed means he likely has a place in the league.
The Broncos certainly think so, hence the three-year $1.575M deal they gave him. Such a monetary overture implies that they see long-term potential in Brandon. He went undrafted in 2014 and spent the autumn in the Fall Experimental Football League—the latest attempt to create a farm system for the NFL.
Perhaps the FXFL is succeeding in their brief, because after a couple of teams kicked the tires on Brandon, but didn’t commit, following the 2014 NFL Draft, he picked up momentum after the fall season concluded.
In Denver, Brandon has the opportunity to learn from two Pro Bowlers in Chris Harris, Jr. and Aqib Talib. The Broncos cornerback depth chart became a lot more crowded, following the 2015 NFL Draft, which saw the team select two more corners—Lorenzo Doss (fifth round) and Taurean Nixon (seventh round).
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The Broncos also have seventh-year veteran Tony Carter, Kayvon Webster and last season’s first round pick Bradley Roby in the cornerback group, making Brandon’s prospects that much more difficult. Likely, the Broncos will roster five corners. The top-three will be Harris, Talib and Roby.
The bottom two spots are very much open for competition, with Webster as the leader to get one of them. However, with such a young group—and one the team has invested mightily in—Webster is no shoe-in to make the roster. He’ll have to earn it, especially with a new coaching staff in place.
However, in all reality, the fifth and final cornerback spot on the roster will likely come down to Brandon, Doss and Nixon. The team will probably give their draft picks the first opportunities to succeed, but that doesn’t mean Brandon won’t make it.
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Each year an undrafted rookie rises above expectations and makes the final roster in Denver. The team's UDFA streak is remarkable. Last season, two UDFAs made the team. Let us not forget that it was from the undrafted ranks that Harris made the team as a rookie in 2011.
If Brandon is as driven as I think he is, Doss and Nixon will have to fight for their football lives to keep him at bay. And Webster is not exempt from the same. If Brandon finds himself on the outside looking in, he stands a great chance of making the practice squad.
In the video below, a young Tevrin Brandon talks with ScoutTv from Pitt's football camp in 2008.