Few teams can boast the kind of success the Denver Broncos have enjoyed with their undrafted free agents. Obviously, Chris Harris Jr. is the headliner of the bunch, but the list also includes guys like C.J. Anderson and Shaquil Barrett.
Since 2011, the Broncos have found three or four potential diamonds that went undrafted.
Past Notable Broncos’ UDFA
|Chris Harris Jr.||2011|
The only question is, how many of the 17 Broncos undrafted free agents in 2017 will end up being one of those three or four players that sticks around on the roster for a few years?
Out of those three or four each year, they also find about one guy that contributes significantly week in and week out.
2017 Broncos UDFA’s
|Kyle Sloter||QB||6'4"||214||Northern Colorado|
|Erik Austell||OT||6'3"||301||Charleston Southern|
|Ken Ekanem||DE||6'3"||243||Virginia Tech|
|Dante Barnett||S||6'1"||185||Kansas State|
The Broncos received a ‘B’ for their UDFA class from Bleacher Report, but they dug deeper into my two favorite prospects on this list in Jamal Carter and Erik Austell. As I wrote on Monday, Austell is a guy who could develop into a starter-caliber talent for the Broncos along the interior of the offensive line. While Carter is an instant contributor on special teams.
Defensively, Miami safety Jamal Carter is another player who will take time to develop at the NFL level after starting only one year for the Hurricanes. But the 6'1" 218-pounder certainly looks the part of an NFL safety from a physical standpoint.
Add in his ability to contribute from Day 1 in special teams, and as one NFC personnel man told Zierlein, "I don't see the ball skills to be a starter, but guys that look like that make rosters."
Both players would need time on the practice squad, but the growth potential for them is huge. In fact, any of these players could surprise us, but it is unlikely more than three or four of them will be around on the roster in two years.
Who are you most excited about from the 2017 Broncos UDFA class?