A day-by-day Broncos player breakdown is something we've been doing since our days at BroncoTalk nearly a decade ago. This year the tradition continues as we look at the Denver Broncos roster heading into the 2015 season in our 90-in-90 series.
Name: Chase Vaughn
Height: 6'1 Weight: 242lbs
Age: 26 Experience: 1st
College: Colorado State-Pueblo
Chase Vaughn has taken the long road to the NFL. He has played for the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives (2010, 2011, and 2012), the IFL's Colorado Ice (2011), the CFL's Calgary Stampeders (2012), and the AFL's Spokane Shock (2013) before receiving an invitation from the Broncos to join them for Training Camp.
Before joining the Broncos, Vaughn was working at the National Jewish Health and called in "sick" while he was trying out for the Broncos.
The 6'1", 242-pound defensive end/linebacker ended up tearing his PCL before the team's first preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.
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"They did the PCL test and that was probably the worst pain I’ve ever felt," Vaughn said. "It was terrible. They said, `You popped something.’ I did an MRI, yeah, tore it. Freak accident, man. Yeah, freak accident."
This was a major injury and eventually was the reason why the Broncos parted ways with Vaughn. Adversity is nothing new to Vaughn, but this setback really bothered him.
"In all the adversity I’d faced, I’d never had an injury. I’d never been hurt. I’d never missed time," he said. "And just sitting in the training room while everyone else was practicing, mentally that was just so tough for me."
Vaughn spent the season rehabbing his injury and eventually signed a futures contract with the team after passing a physical. Vaughn now has one more shot to live his dream.
When Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was asked about Chase Vaughn he said he remained raw, but spoke highly about his ability.
"but he has very good footwork and you know it takes that to start with. You’d like him to be a little taller and a little bigger (he’s 6-foot-2 and 248 pounds), but good players come in all kinds of packages, so he’s got an opportunity."
Vaughn will need to continue to impress and fine tune his skills if he wants to crack the 53-man roster or the team's practice squad.
Last season Vaughn was trying to make the Broncos roster at defensive end, but this year he will be playing outside linebacker which is his natural position.
This should help Wade Phillips get the most out of the raw Chase Vaughn.
Phillips does mention his good footwork as a positive of Vaughn. This is a good building block for any player trying to crack an NFL roster.
Other than that, it's really hard to list many more positives about Vaughn. He has very limited experience in the NFL and has bounced around other football leagues before joining the Broncos. He will need to stay healthy and continue to impress coaches during Training Camp and the Preseason.
Vaughn is competing at probably one of the deeper positional groups on the Broncos defense. They have two Pro Bowl starters in Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, and first-round pick Shane Ray already on the roster. So the competition will be steep for the 4th and 5th outside linebacker spots.
His size isn't ideal. He's a little short at 6'1", and he doesn't have the speed or arm length one looks for in a 3-4 outside linebacker.
His rawness is also a negative in this situation. He's 26 years old so his window is probably closing quickly, so he will need to improve quickly if he wants to make the team.
Status: Vaughn is a roster long shot. He has Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware and Shane Ray already locked into roster spots ahead of him. He will be competing with Lerentee McCray, Shaq Barrett, and a host of others.