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: Spencer Lanning
Height: 5'11" Weight: 200
Age: 27 Experience: 3
College: South Carolina
Spencer Lanning's time in the NFL may have been short, but in that time he's bounced around quite a few places. Lanning was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Bears in 2011. He then had a short stay in early 2012 with the Jacksonville Jaguars before landing with the New York Jets for a few short days. He then signed with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the UFL.
His NFL career finally got some action with the Cleveland Browns in 2013, and he became the first player in more than four decades to have a punt, extra point, and touchdown pass in one game. You may also remember him from gettingkicked in the face on a punt return by Steelers' Antonio Brown.
Lanning spent a short time this year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before getting released. Within a day, the Broncos claimed him off of waivers.
The good: Lanning brings something that Gary Kubiak loves in a player - versatility. He can punt, place kick as a backup, and kick off. He also isn't afraid of throwing a TD out of a fake field goal. As far as punting goes, his average isn't spectacular (44.3 yards per punt last year), but it sure as heck compares to Britton Colquitt's average, who had the advantage of punting with altitude for half his games (44.2 yards per punt last year). A very interesting benefit Lanning would have over the incumbent punter for the Broncos would be his price tag, which could save us a couple wooden nickels if he wins the job.
The bad: Lanning's punting isn't anything to write home about. Unless he's made some major strides in upping his distance, he won't wow you with his leg.
Status: I think Lanning has a good shot of making this team. Kubiak really likes versatility. Also, there's a tie in to Connor Barth here. Barth can't kick off well at all, so if the team wants to keep him for his accuracy, Lanning would make that possible, given his ability to both punt and kick off. I find it highly unlikely, but it would be pretty cool if Lanning actually took care of all the kicking duties for the team (he did in college...but this honestly is just an NFL GM dream).