The newly rebuilt Denver front office looks to be trying to score an A+ on the first phase free agency -- bringing in yet another strong rookie free agent class. History indicates that at least one of these young men will make the 53-man roster (Chris Baker in 2009, Cassius Vaughn in 2010), so once the Broncos make it official tomorrow, we can start to see which one or more of them will make that leap this season.
So far, the reported CFAs that Denver has been talking with, and likely to sign are:
- CB Brandon Bing, Rutgers
- WR Marshall Williams, Wake Forest
- WR Mark Dell, Michigan State
- FB Patrick Hill, Miami
- RB Mario Fannin, Auburn
- CB James Rogers, Michigan
- DT Colby Whitlock, Texas Tech
- OG Bryant Browning, Ohio State
- LB Nick Bellore, Central Michigan
- DE Deron Mayo, Old Dominion
- CB Chris Harris, Kansas
- OT Curt Porter, Jacksonville St.
Below the fold lets take a look at a few of the guys that really stand out to me on the list, and who, in my view, stand the best chance of being the guys to beat the odds and make the squad...
I talked a little about Mario Fannin earlier, and I definitely feel that he is at the head of the current class, and at a position of need, so that seems like a pretty good circumstance for making the roster. But here are a couple of others who I like their shot to find a spot:
- ILB Nick Bellore, Michigan State: I had Fannin rated as my #10 overall UDFA, and Nick ranks as my #20 overall, and prior to the draft I had him ranked two slots ahead of eventual Denver Bronco 6th rounder, Mike Mohammed. What I like most about Nick is the steady, consistent production, over four years as a starter for C.Michigan. 472 tackles speaks for itself. While he could be described as average in terms of athleticism and timed speed, he makes up for it with intensity of play and instinctual awareness. He also plays a lot faster than he looks on the track, and it is routine to see him meeting head to head with FBs on their side of the line of scrimmage, shedding and wrapping up the ballcarrier. Keeps his hsoulders square to the line, makes a point of being the one to initiate contact, plays low and with good knee bend. Moves well laterally, tracks blocks well and finds his way through trash to find the ball, and he is ALWAYS around the ball. Reminds me a lot of Wesley Woodyard in a lot of ways. Good stack and shed player who was durable throughout his career, and who stayed on the field in every situation. A terrific asset for any special teams unit. CAREER STATS: 472 tackles, 32.5TFL, 5.5 sacks, 9 passes broken up, 1 INT.
- OG Bryant Browning, Ohio State: Browning is the last of the draftable players that I had ranked, and he is a great OG somatotype for the future. 6'4", 319lbs, he was a 3 year starter and is a natural pass blocker who needs to get his game under control in the run game, but who brings a lot of raw talent in that area. Very alert lineman, picks up blitzes well, does a good job of communicating and helping with double teams or handing off blocks. Gets both hands into defensive linemen and mauls them. Excellent balance when shadowing the pass rush. Very smart player who can play both G and OT. Has all the right physical tools and the right attitude, but needs some solid developmental time to bring everything together into a single package. Great longterm prospect for depth, and hopefully to step up when needed.
So which guys have caught your eyes, MHR?