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: Tevrin Brandon
Height: 5'10" Weight: 180
Age: 24 Experience: Rookie
With nine (yes, nine!) CBs on the Denver Broncos roster, Tevrin Brandon knows making the roster is definitely no guarantee.
But if this undrafted free agent knows anything, it's about working hard to prove any unbelievers wrong.
It's only fitting then that one of Brandon's mentors - as well as his competition - is Chris Harris Jr., also a UDFA who not only made the squad but has since become the top-rated cornerback by Pro Football Focus (as well as Broncos fans everywhere).
"[Harris Jr] is definitely a role model," Brandon said, adding cornerback Brent Grimes of the Dolphins to his list of role models. "They used what they have to their advantage and are starting in the NFL. I look at what they've done and mold it to my own path and hopefully I'll be in the same position."
Before playing his senior year at Monmouth University, Brandon played three seasons at University of Connecticut, making special teams his forté while he waited behind future NFL draft picks Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Dwayne Gratz. An altercation off campus got him suspended for a semester his senior year, so Brandon transferred to New Jersey's Monmouth, sat out a year, and then picked up where he left off with the Huskies.
The former Monmouth Hawk went undrafted in May 2014 but was offered a UDFA by the Broncos for about an hour before the deal fell through. Brandon kept working out and was rewarded with invites to rookie mini-camps for the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets last summer.
After a workout with the Jets didn't lead to an offer, Brandon remained optimistic about his chances to keep playing football and signed with the Fall Experimental Football League Brooklyn Bolts, helping the team to a 4-0 season last fall.
The Broncos called on Brandon again last December to workout with a handful of other defensive backs. The Bethlehem, Penn., native was more than ready.
"I just wanted to work my ass off to be the best I could be," he said. "That was one of the best workouts I've had. I walked away knowing I had given it my all."
The Broncos definitely thought it was good enough too, signing Brandon to a three-year, $1.575 million contract.
The good: Brandon is not among the bigger corners, but he moves his 5-foot-10, 180-pound frame with such agility and quickness that the Broncos took notice.
As a red-shirt senior at Monmouth, Brandon had 51 tackles, three interceptions, two blocked kicks and 15 passes broken up, plus three punt returns for a total of 42 yards and 13 kick-off returns for 248 yards total.
His speed is also noteworthy. Running a 4.34 in the 40 at his pro day, Brandon's time was faster than any cornerback at the NFL Combine that year.
The bad: Though Monmouth University has produced many NFL talents, Brandon hasn't really played football on the big stage, and we all know the pro level is no college contest. The 2013/14 Monmouth Hawks went 6-6, losing to teams you may not even realize have football programs, such as Lehigh University, Liberty University and Sacred Heart University.
Brandon did get four games in the FXFL under his belt, so he's been introduced to a slightly "bigger/faster game" than the college version, but no doubt the NFL is going to be quite an education for the older rookie.
Quotable: Despite his lack of experience at the elite level, Brandon is not intimidated by playing with some of the best of the best in the NFL.
"Of course I want to be the best corner I can be, but I'm in a room with the elite of the elite," Brandon told MHR's Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann earlier this spring after he joined the Broncos. "I'm just going to work as hard as I can and show the coaches I have value."
Included in his "value," are Brandon's athleticism and smarts as well as his versatility playing man-to-man or slot coverage.
"I love playing inside because you usually play against shiftier guys and it can be a little trickier," said Brandon, adding he's comfortable playing man or dropping into zone, which should serve him well with the Broncos. "I'm very coachable, and I like to learn. I like to study."
Status: Like most new guys to the team, Brandon knows his ticket to the roster likely goes through special teams - and he's more than OK with that.
"I'm just taking in all the knowledge around me, so I can refine my technique and my craft and have an opportunity to make this team," Brandon said. "I just want to prove I can play in the NFL and be a player teams want."