When the Denver Broncos picked up former TCU wide receiver John Diarse, it was merely a footnote to a rather fun day of undrafted free agents who joined the team after the 2018 NFL Draft concluded. With local standout Phillip Lindsay and sack master Jeff Holland, there was little to take notice of a wide receiver with okay stats coming out of college.
Name: John Diarse
Position: Wide receiver
Height: 6’ 1”
However, Diarse was a name that kept showing up during Broncos OTA’s and if he can continue to keep his name showing up through training camp then he could end up a sneaky good pick up for the Broncos.
When he’s not turning his master’s degree into a startup venture called Young. Fresh. Free., Diarse is honing his craft as a now NFL wide receiver. His acumen for business has translated well to the field as a rookie, which is something he needs in order to catch onto an NFL roster as an undrafted free agent.
Early on, Andrew Mason took notice of Diarse’s ability to make plays on the field.
On the play from the 24-yard line, Kelly lobbed a pass to the back of the end zone that rookie John Diarse caught behind the defense. He made the leaping grab and got both feet in-bounds for the score.
Diarse caught another touchdown pass late in practice, leaping for a grab from Kelly in the back of the end zone during the final team period.
Those early plays continued into mandatory minicamp as Mason noted a couple of good grabs from Diarse again from Chad Kelly.
Diarse was active once again. During one period, he caught consecutive passes from Kelly, first making a tip-toe grab near the right sideline, then hauling in a pass on a slant route despite blanket coverage from first-year safety Jordan Moore.
Getting open and catching the ball are two things that will keep Diarse’s name in the conversation as the front office looks to get to their final 53-man roster and 10-man practice squad.
He doesn’t seem to have great athleticism, but he has incredible hands and is used to making heavily contested passes. He will need to develop elite route running skills and use his catching ability to win those battles on the football field.
After one of his big days at practice during OTA’s, Diarse was asked what he is doing to play well that day.
“That’s just doing your job and exceeding expectations,” Diarse said. “It’s the NFL. Every ball in the air has to be caught. We have to dominate as receivers to take advantage of every opportunity we get, and that was just one that you just don’t think about, and you go after it.”
I like Diarse’s work ethic and if he makes the team it will be due mostly to that hard work. If he continues to do the types of things we’ve already heard about him during OTA’s, then he is a prime candidate for the Broncos practice squad.
The team is pretty stacked with drafted talent at wide receiver, so he would need to do incredible things during training camp to force his way into the 53-man roster conversation.