5 Under-The-Radar Players Heading Into Denver Broncos 2016 Training Camp

With training camp less than a week out, Mile High Huddle highlights five players who are flying under the radar, but could end up making a big impact for the Broncos.

General manager John Elway won a Super Bowl as a football executive because of his knack for finding diamonds in the rough and developing them into impact players. 

Elway has talked about developing Pro Bowlers, rather than drafting them. There's only so many instant-impact studs, like Von Miller, to go around each generation. 

Still, Elway has cultivated a roster replete with elite depth, as we saw on multiple occasions during the Denver Broncos' romp down the stretch and into the 2015 playoffs. Names like Shaquil BarrettMatt ParadisDanny TrevathanMalik JacksonChris Harris, Jr., Bradley RobySylvester WilliamsC.J. Anderson—and even Brock Osweiler—all played a key role in Denver's Super Bowl run. 

Every one of those names was either drafted, or signed as a college free agent, by John Elway. And I'm leaving out more than a few players. 

The 2016 Broncos roster features more rare gems, waiting to be unearthed and unleashed upon the NFL. I've pinpointed five players who are currently flying under the radar that I believe have a great opportunity to make an impact in 2016. 

Not all of them will make the final 53-man roster, but I like their chances. 

Zaire Anderson, Inside Linebacker

Measurables: 5-foot-11, 220 pounds

NFL Experience: First year

Path To Denver: College free agent, 2015

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Zaire Anderson might not have the prototypical size of an NFL 3-4 inside linebacker—he's built more like a safety, honestly—but he's got a motor and the athleticism to fit the mold. 

In his senior year at Nebraska, Anderson eclipsed the 100-tackle mark, adding 13 tackles for a loss, two sacks, and three forced fumbles. He's an animal in the box and possesses the instinctive nose to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. 

His frame gives him the ability to cover tight ends—he had five passes defensed as a senior. Anderson ran a 4.82 40-yard dash at his Pro Day and threw up 18 reps on the bench press (225 pounds). 

He's stronger than he looks. 18 reps on the bench would have put him in the top-15 for all linebackers at the NFL Scouting Combine this past spring. 

He went undrafted because of his size—pure and simple. If he was two inches taller and 20 pounds heavier, odds are he would have heard his name called. But sometimes things happen for a reason. 

Anderson flashed during camp and preseason as a rookie, but the Broncos depth chart was stacked. Denver waived him but re-signed him to the practice squad. Now, with the departure of Danny Trevathan, the Broncos have an open roster spot at inside linebacker. 

The coaches really like him. Anderson will be battling it out with Todd Davis and Corey Nelson for reps with the first team. Anderson will also face competition from behind him, as Frank Shannon (UDFA) is a former blue-chip talent looking to capitalize on his NFL opportunity. Veteran Dekoda Watson is also a threat, but it remains to be seen if he fits in at outside or inside linebacker. 

The Broncos still list Anderson at 220 pounds, but with a year spent developing a pro body with Strength and Conditioning Coach Luke Richesson, I'd be shocked if he hasn't added a few pounds to his frame. 

When preseason rolls around, it'll be interesting to see if Anderson garners any snaps with the first team defense next to Brandon Marshall. Regardless of which unit he plays with, what I'll be watching for is how Zaire Anderson does in shedding the blocks of big 300-pound NFL offensive linemen in the muss. He is a player to watch. 

Dillon Day, Center

Measurables: 6-foot-4, 299 pounds

NFL Experience: First year

Path to Denver: College free agent, 2015

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Dillon Day is known for his high football IQ and his intense, competitive streak.  

The knock on him coming out of Mississippi State was a short temper (stomping incidents) and a lack of athleticism, which to pro scouts, translated to stiffness, especially in his knees and ability to bend. 

As an almost four-year starter, the Broncos liked him as a smallish center for the zone blocking scheme and made him a priority free agent signing. As a rookie, Day came in and competed with Matt Paradis and Gino Gradkowski

The Broncos were confident enough in their young depth (Paradis, Day) to cut Gradkowski, whom they had traded for a few months earlier. Ultimately, Day wasn't quite far enough along in his development to warrant a roster spot, and they waived him at the final cut down, but re-signed him to the practice squad. 

Right before the first game of the regular season, Denver claimed center James Ferentz off waivers from the Houston Texans. He served as the backup to Paradis, and occasional short-yardage fullback, while Day developed on the practice squad. 

Fast forward a year, and Dillon Day is once again in a position to win a roster spot, but this time he has a year in Denver's system and culture under his belt. He will push Ferentz for the backup job to Paradis, but Day will have to prove his mettle. 

He might not be the most athletic center, but NFL coaches will often find a place on the roster for competitive, intense and tough players, willing to do the dirty work—especially those with a high football IQ. 

Kyle Roberts, Offensive Tackle

Measurables: 6-foot-6, 305 pounds

NFL Experience: First year

Path to Denver: College free agent, 2015

Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Gary Kubiak loves him some developmental ZBS tackles and Kyle Roberts fits the mold. Roberts went undrated out of Nevada in 2015 but quickly found a home with the Denver Broncos. 

The Broncos have had to essentially hit the re-set button on the offensive line, after a season of sub-par performance and an offseason marked by a veteran exodus. Gone are tackles Ryan Clady and Ryan Harris, along with starting guard tandem Evan Mathis and Louis Vasquez

Matt Paradis stands alone as the only starting holdover from last year. This shuffling of the O-line helps guys like Dillon Day and Kyle Roberts. 

The Broncos are asking last year's second round pick, Ty Sambrailo, to switch positions and kick inside to guard. That leaves Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson as the projected starters at tackle, with most pundits pegging Michael Schofield as the shoe-in at swing tackle. 

And that could very well be how it ends up. But, despite Schofield's draft pedigree as a 2014 third round pick, his performance as a starter in 2015 left much to be desired. Remember when Oakland's Khalil Mack posted his five-sack performance vs. Denver last year? Four of the five sacks came at the expense of Schofield. 

Draft pedigree can factor in greatly when coaches and general managers are formulating a roster, but as we saw with Montee Ball (2013 second rounder), John Elway will cut bait with a high-round draft pick if he must. I'm not necessarily saying that's what will happen with Schofield, but it gives a guy like Kyle Roberts a foot in the door. 

He might be far from a trendy pick to make the roster in 2016, but Roberts is a quintessential ZBS tackle. What he lacks in power he makes up with in athleticism. And with a full year with the organization (practice squad) to hone his technique, I like his chances as an under-the-radar player to push for a roster spot in year two with the Broncos. 

Jordan Taylor, Wide Receiver

Measurables: 6-foot-5, 210 pounds

NFL Experience: First year

Path to Denver: College free agent, 2015

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Jordan "Sunshine" Taylor lands on all the marks NFL coaches look for in an outside receiver. Big-bodied, athletic, and sure-handed, Taylor certainly has a pro-level skill-set. 

The Broncos signed him as a college free agent out of Rice last year and he immediately set about making big flash plays in training camp. But with a depth chart as stacked as Denver's was at wide receiver last year, the Broncos simply didn't have room for him. 

It came down to a decision between Taylor and veteran Andre Caldwell and "Bubba" won. Taylor was waived but re-signed to the practice squad where he would go on to impact Denver's 2015 fortunes in a big way. 

When Peyton Manning had to sit for almost two months while he healed from a plantar fascia tear, he formed a friendship and bond with Taylor. As Manning worked his way back to health, he conscripted the services of Taylor, throwing routes to the rookie in the weeks leading up to his eventual Week 17 return to the starting lineup. 

You don't think "Sunshine" picked up some tips and insider tricks of the trade working so closely with the five-time NFL MVP? That knowledge will pay dividends this time around, as Taylor looks to carve himself out a role with the Broncos. 

Like most seasons, Taylor faces a slew of competition in the form of hungry, fellow undrafted brethren, pushing him from the bottom of the depth chart. Former Oregon stand-out Bralon Addison is one of them, and although he's of a different WR mold than Taylor, he can return punts and kicks. 

If the Broncos choose to keep six receivers, I like Taylor's chances of making the roster this year. If it ends up being five, he'll have to unseat a guy like Cody LatimerBennie Fowler, or Jordan Norwood. Easier said than done. But crazier things have happened in the annals of Broncos history. 

The Broncos need a viable returner, so if Taylor can find a way to show a propensity in that department, it will solidify his bid for a roster spot. When camp and preseason rolls around, get used to seeing Taylor pop. 

Eddie Yarbrough, Outside Linebacker

Measurables: 6-foot-3, 259 pounds

NFL Experience: Rookie

Path to Denver: College free agent, 2016

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Eddie Yarbrough is a guy who reminds me a lot of Shaquil Barrett. Yarbrough is a small-school pass rusher, acclimated to playing at the altitude of the Rockies. 

Yarbrough played high school football at Grandview in Aurora (Denver area). He attended the Broncos regional Pro Day back in April and impressed the staff enough to earn a contract as a priority free agent following the Draft. 

He possesses the skill-set NFL teams covet on the edge. He went undrated because of "small-school syndrome". In Denver, he'll have to get used to playing from the two-point stance, which will be an adjustment, as he played mostly with his hand in the dirt at defensive end at Wyoming

Yarbrough might have been a small-school guy, but he was highly productive. He left the college ranks with 39.5 tackles for a loss and 21.5 sacks—11 of which came over his last two seasons with the Cowboys. 

He's humble, yet hungry. Last year, the Broncos carried five outside linebackers— Von MillerDeMarcus WareShane Ray, Shaq Barrett, and Lerentee McCray. McCray signed with Green Bay in the offseason and the Broncos plan to reduce Ware's role with the team, reserving him as a third down pass-rushing specialist to preserve his health. 

This adds up to a great opportunity for Yarbrough. If he can be consistent and show a proficiency at rushing the passer standing up, I like his chances of making the roster as an undrafted rookie. 

Note: a couple of other under-the-radar players I like include the previously mentioned WR Bralon Addison and ILB Frank Shannon, but also TE Henry Krieger-Coble, and DT David Moala. It also bears mentioning that DE Kenny Anunike and RB Kapri Bibbs could finally get a real opportunity to stick to the final roster. 

Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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