Horse Tracks: Will an UDFA make the 53-man roster in 2014?

Doug Pensinger

Ten straight years a player has made the Broncos roster from the undrafted rookie ranks.

2004-2013 UDFA to make the Broncos Roster
Player

Pos

Year

Roc Alexander

KR

2004

Louis Green

LB

2004

Wesley Duke

TE

2005

Mike Bell

RB

2006

Antwon Burton

DT

2006

Eric Pears

G

2006

Roderick Rogers

DB

2007

Selvin Young

RB

2007

Brett Kern

P

2008

Tyler Polumbus

T

2008

Wesley Woodyard

LB

2008

Chris Baker

DT

2009

Tony Carter

DB

2009

Kyle McCarthy

S

2010

Cassius Vaughn

DB

2010

Chris Harris Jr.

DB

2011

Aaron Brewer

LS

2012

Steven Johnson

LB

2012

C.J. Anderson

RB

2013

This year there are several intriguing possibilities, but where should we and where should we NOT expect that player to come from:

To be, or not to be???

You can all but expect an UDFA to make the team from the RB, LB, and DB positions.  It will take a great camp for Bryn Renner to beat out Zac Dysert (and that's assuming the Broncos will carry 3 QB's to the active roster).  Ditto for WR where they are five deep already with DT, Sanders, Welker, Caldwell, and Latimer.  Perhaps Gerrell Robinson or another TE can stick with the uncertain status of Joel Dreessen and his counterpart Jacob Tamme.  From the OL, it seems as if the depth is sufficiently filled without delving into the undrafted ranks.

On defense things are less clear.  Beyond each starter position along the LB corps, each backup spot is seemingly up for grabs.  Could Shaquil Barrett grab one of those spots?  How about the defensive backfield where we have an open competition behind Talib and Harris Jr.?  What about safety where the only guaranteed a spot happens to be FA acquisition TJ Ward?  Depth sure is thin at free safety.

If one or more players makes the team, it will continue a long storied tradition of players beating long odds to stick.  Whether that player turns out to be an all-time great like Rod Smith or a bum like Roc Alexander is completely up to him.

Horse Tracks

Ronnie Hillman on Denver Broncos' roster bubble? - NFL.com
The Broncos want to see Ronnie Hillman hold onto the ball before handing him a larger role on offense. "We've just got to start over," Denver playcaller Adam Gase said of the running back.

Colts' Robert Mathis suspended four games for PED - NFL.com
Indianapolis Colts pass rusher Robert Mathis is suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2014 season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, the league announced.

Safety John Boyett Has Redemption Shot With Denver Broncos
Former Oregon Ducks star safety had surgery on both knees and got arrested in 2013, but he has a shot at redemption with the Denver Broncos.

Free agent Isaiah Burse explosive enough to make run at Broncos roster - The Denver Post
The snap count came on a sun-bleached Sunday. No. 19 broke off the line, stopped at the imaginary red light, cut and pawed the football out of the sky. It happened so fast, you wanted to check the Broncos' rookie minicamp roster again.

Extra reps benefit Broncos' rookies as minicamp closes - The Denver Post
Rookie minicamp is the "Fast and The Curious." Young players, with the Broncos' draft picks and undrafted free agents are no different, try to adapt to the speed of the professional game while also burying their heads in their playbooks.

Bradley Roby tells his side of a controversial orange bowl story - The Denver Post
It wasn't supposed to end this way, standing on the sideline in sweats as Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins turned the Orange Bowl into his own personal Xbox.

Burse: 'They Really Like My Return Ability'
College free agent WR Isaiah Burse talks about choosing the Broncos and the possibility of a kick returner role.

Fox Wraps Rookie Minicamp
Head Coach John Fox talks to the press after Sunday's practice.

Rookie Minicamp Comes to a Close
Sunday marked the final practice of the Broncos' rookie minicamp at Dove Valley.Rookie Minicamp: Day 3 Photos

Latimer Making Most of Camp
Even though he's been limited, rookie wide receiver Cody Latimer is learning plenty during his first camp as a Bronco.

Broncos' Wes Welker has new definition of giving back - The Denver Post
Churchill Downs says the $100 bills Wes Welker was handing out wasn't all his because of a "tote malfunction," according to ESPN. The track made the mistake, and would like some of its money back.

Report: Thurman’s accuser has been arrested in the past for making a false report | ProFootballTalk
Whenever someone in the public eye is accused of wrongdoing, it's always possible that the accusation is something other than true.  When it comes to the accusation made against Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, that possibility is enhanced by the reality (as reported by the New York Daily...

Witness says Thurman did nothing wrong | ProFootballTalk
Regardless of what Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman actually did, or didn't do, to a woman at a New Jersey club, it will be very difficult if not impossible for prosecutors to make battery charges stick. For starters, the alleged victim said she wasn't injured.

Offset language is likely a dead issue | ProFootballTalk
Under the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement, players drafted have few issues about which to negotiate.  For players taken at the top of the process, the biggest sticking point has emerged in connection with the issue of offset language. It's a simple concept.

Quick decision not expected on location, timing of 2015 draft | ProFootballTalk
The league's owners will gather in Atlanta on Tuesday for their quarterly meeting, less than two weeks after the 2014 NFL draft.  At that time, a decision is not expected to be made on the date and timing of the 2015 NFL draft.

Harbaugh: Jerry Rice Jr. doing 'nice job' for Ravens - NFL.com
Jerry Rice Jr. faces an uphill battle to reach training camp with the Baltimore Ravens, but coach John Harbaugh likes what he's seen from the receiver so far during the team's rookie minicamp.

Browns' Johnny Manziel: 'I need to earn my keep' - NFL.com
Johnny Manziel was the focus of every media member at Saturday's rookie minicamp. The Cleveland Browns quarterback said he realizes he's just a rookie and doesn't want anything handed to him.

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