Report: Broncos to Add Saulsberry

Denver Broncos fan looks on prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

UPDATE: The Broncos announced the signing of Quintin Saulsberry at 9am MDT.

It is being reported by Mike Klis of the Denver Post, that the Denver Broncos plan on adding Quintin Saulsberry to their Practice Squad on Monday. The 6-3, 305 lb. Guard went Undrafted out of Mississippi State and was picked up by the Minnesota Vikings. Saulsberry made it through Training Camp and was one of the final cuts. The Vikings were trying to slide him through the waiver wire, when the Broncos grabbed him.

Now that we know who the final player is, let's see if we can find out more about the soon-to-be newest Bronco.

A 4-year letterman for the Bulldogs, Saulsberry is the only player in MSU history to play and start every game of his career (49). He was regarded as one of the best center prospects in the 2012 NFL Draft.

From Wikipedia:

After redshirting his initial year at Mississippi State, Saulsberry started all 12 games of the year at right tackle. In his sophomore year, he made the transition to left guard, where he started all 12 games and helped pave the way for Anthony Dixon to set a new school record with 1,391 yards. The Bulldog offense lead the SEC and finish ninth nationally in rushing offense, averaging more than 227 yards per game.In his junior season, Saulsberry started all but three games at right guard. He once started at left guard, and against Houston and Florida, replaced an injured J. C. Brignone at center. In his senior season, he started all 13 games, nine of which at right guard and four at center. He earned All-SEC Honorable Mention by the Associated Press, and played in the 2012 East–West Shrine Game

His measurements from the Scouting Combine this year.

  • Armspan - 33¾ inches
  • Hand size - 9⅞ inches
  • 40-Time - 5.38 sec.
  • 20-ss - 4.99 sec.
  • 3-cone - 8.19 sec.
  • Vertical Jump - 22 inches
  • Broad Jump - 7 ft 6 in
  • Bench Press - 26 reps

Quinton was the established leader on a talented MSU Offensive Line and showed improvement each year during college. For the breakdown of his career as a Bulldog, go here.

According to CBSDraftScout, Saulsberry graded out a champion in five games, including games against current No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama. The senior also recorded 37 takedowns.

Overview


A four-year starter, Saulsberry wasn't highly recruited out of high school, choosing Mississippi State over Memphis. After redshirting in 2007 as a defensive lineman, he transitioned to the offensive side of the ball and earned the starting right tackle job as a redshirt freshman, starting every game in 2008. Saulsberry moved inside to left guard in 2009 as a sophomore, starting all 12 games. He again started every game in 2010 as a junior, starting at right guard (10 starts), center (2 starts) and left guard (1 start). Saulsberry again showed off his versatility in 2011, starting all 13 games at right guard (9 starts) and center (4 starts).

Saulsberry lacks ideal size and strength and isn't overpowering, but he makes up for it with his tenacious playing style and feisty, competitive attitude. He takes pride in finishing his blocks and looks natural pulling and blocking in motion. Saulsberry is versatile with the skills set and experience to be a serviceable NFL guard, but his size and frame make him a center prospect for most teams, reminiscent of a poor man's Rodney Hudson and is the best interior line prospect in this class that no one seems to be talking about.

Analysis

Strengths: Fires off the snap with explosive burst and no hesitation. Moves very well for a 300-pounder with above-average quickness and range. Does a nice job getting to the second level and blocking in space -- mobile and effective pulling. Has quick feet and bends well at the knee. Sits in his stance with good balance and a strong base. Extends his arms quickly at the point of attack and is aggressive with his hands -- strong, active punch. Works hard through the whistle with top a motor and nasty demeanor. Scrappy and physical with an intense playing style. Has a tenacious attitude and looks to eliminate defenders from the play -- love his aggressive nature and feisty mean streak. Has the lower body strength to anchor in pass protection and uses leverage to his advantage. A hard worker on and off the field and strives to be the best he can be -- smart and tough. Put together an impressive collegiate resume as a four-year starter in the SEC with impressive experience and versatility, starting 50 games between four different positions -- right guard (19 starts), left guard (13 starts), right tackle (12 starts) and center (6 starts).

Weaknesses: Doesn't have elite size or strength with limited growth potential. Has almost too much arm length (33 5/8), taking a bit longer to unwind off the snap. Tends to be too aggressive off the snap and will take himself out of the play. Misses too many blocking assignments because he plays undisciplined at times. Often caught lunging and overextends, struggling to stay under control. Not overpowering at the point of attack and lacks the natural girth to hold up at guard -- probably restricted to center where he has the least amount of college experience.

NFL Comparison: Rodney Hudson, Kansas City Chiefs -- Dane Brugler

Pro Football Weekly says:

Positives:

Has good size and is well put together. Quick out of his stance. Good feet and active hands. Can shuffle and mirror inside. Understands positioning and angles. Smart and aware. Pulls with speed and conviction and zeroes in on targets. Plays with vinegar — consistent effort and intensity. Tough, durable four-year starter. Versatile — played four different spots. Outstanding personal and football character — accountable, well-respected, passionate leader by example.

Negatives:

Adequate length. Not exceptionally strong or explosive. Does not play with pop in his hands. Average balance and sustain — at times lunges and falls off blocks. Struggles to generate movement in the run game (limited power). Struggled in head-to-head confrontations with elite talent, including Detroit Lions 2010 first-rounder Nick Fairley and LSU’s Michael Brockers. Too effort-reliant.

Summary:

Scrappy, competitive, athletic, experienced interior blocker whose functional strength leaves something be desired. Projects best at center in the pros, although his versatility, intangibles and playing temperament could make him a valuable swing interior backup.

Quinton's NFL Draft Report looked like this:

OVERVIEW

Saulsberry has been a reliable, thick physical presence inside and outside as a four-year starter. He is a decent athlete for his size who looks good when working in space pulling or getting upfield on screens. He isn't very strong and can be overpowered at times, but has the ability to be drafted late as a big body inside.

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS: Saulsberry is fast off the ball and has good feet to work into the second level on linebackers. Has good footwork in the run game and keeps his legs moving, and is also fluid in his pass set.

WEAKNESSES: Saulsberry can be overpowered and really can't uncoil his hips and drive his legs to create movement. Is a "stop" blocker who doesn't allow someone by but is far from overbearing when connecting. A fluid athlete but not a physical presence inside and could struggle against bigger, stronger players.

Pat Kirwan called Saulsberry -- "My favorite player on tape all spring. He is a wild and intense football player that could play defensive line as well as center or guard. He will mix it up every day in camp and the coaches are going to find it hard to cut him."

Dan Kadar over at Mocking the Draft also did an analysis on Quinton in March.

If he pans out, Saulsberry could replace Philip Blake, who in my opinion, hasn't shown to be one of the 53 best Bronco players this preseason. It looks like Quinton is a good fit for a Zone Blocking scheme, so he should be a good backup to develop.

Go Broncos!

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