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2019 Broncos roster review: Cornerback De’Vante Bausby

Could journeyman cornerback, De’Vante Bausby, make a name for himself with the Denver Broncos?

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After a successful stint in the AAF(Alliance of American Football) cornerback De’Vante Bausby signed a one-year deal to join Vic Fangio’s Denver Broncos defense.

After having a successful college career at Pittsburg State, De’Vante Bausby decided to enter himself into the 2015 NFL Draft. He created some buzz for himself after measuring at 6’2”, running a 40-time 4.35 seconds and jumping 37.5 inch vertical. Impressive numbers from a small school guy, however, he still went undrafted during the 2015 NFL Draft. He eventually signed as an undrafted free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs.

His stint with the Chiefs was a quick one as he broke his collarbone during the spring and was released by the team. One he was healed up, he would later sign with the Chicago Bears who had Vic Fangio as their Defensive Coordinator and would bounce between being on their active roster during the 2016 season. He was then waived by the Bears during the 2017 offseason before spending the next two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. He nearly finished out the year with the Eagles but was waived by the team on Christmas Eve. This allowed him to sign with the San Antonio Commanders of the AAF. This is where Bausby found some big-time success before the league abruptly shut down,

He was tied for the league lead in interceptions during his short stint with the San Antonio Commanders. This performance in a league full of players looking for a second chance helped him earn that second chance in the NFL. He reunited with Vic Fangio after he quickly signed with the Denver Broncos after the AAF closed shop. Now he will compete for a roster spot on the Broncos this summer.

The good

He has a history with Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio in Chicago, so he knows him and his system and Fangio knows Bausby. So this should help him early on in the process as he should have a leg up on his competition because of his knowledge of Fangio’s system.

Another thing that bodes well for Bausby is that he has a clear ride for that fourth or fifth cornerback job if he just does his job this summer. The best competition he has is from some UDFA corners(who very easily could surpass him, but that is for another day) so he appears to be the odds on favorite to be the fourth cornerback listed on the depth chart.

Head Coach Vic Fangio said he that Bausby has a “chance” to make the Broncos roster earlier this spring.

“Yeah, he’s got talent,” Fangio said Tuesday as the team opened its voluntary veteran minicamp. “He can run. He’s got movement abilities. He played a little bit for us a couple years ago, played a little bit for the Eagles I believe this past season, and obviously played in the spring league that just was going on. He’s got a chance.”

Now, I am personally not putting much stock into his AAF performance, but he did play very well during his short stint in that short-lived league. He was tied for the league lead in interceptions with four through 8 games. This doesn’t include the interception he had during a two-point conversion play as well. How much does this ultimately matter towards his eventual NFL success with the Broncos? Likely not much, but it also cannot be ignored, and hopefully he figured something out during his stint there where he earned valuable playing time.

Finally, anytime you are 6’2” cornerback who has good speed, you will get chances in the NFL. That is what Bausby has and he is currently the tallest cornerback on the Broncos roster.

The bad

Well, it is never good when the Head Coach publicly questions your play in the spring, but that is exactly what Vic Fangio did to De’Vante Bausby just a few weeks back.

“I think there’s been a time or two in Phase 2 where he’s let the back-to-back season, albeit shortened, give him a reason to think he’s tired, too, where he shouldn’t do that. He’s got to overcome that. He’s got to overcome being his own worst enemy and show the player that he can be.”

As I have said, Bausby is fighting for a roster spot and to be one of the final corners on the roster, so a slow start is never good for him. It will be interesting to see if Bausby bounces back from this and performs well during the remainder of the OTA’s and Minicamp.

My other concern here is how Bausby has bounced around a bit since entering the league. He had had two stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, spent two seasons in the Bears organization, and two seasons in the Philadelphia Eagles organization. He ultimately was waived by every team listed at least once. So it is hard to count on Bausby being a reliable player or even making the 53-man roster. You only get so many chances in the NFL and he may be getting his final one in Denver.

De’Vante Bausby Highlights

De’Vante Bausby’s roster status with the Broncos

I think has a really good shot at the fourth cornerback spot.

Newly signed defensive back Kareem Jackson appears to be a safety who can play corner in a pinch, but likely will be listed as a safety on the depth chart. That leaves Chris Harris Jr., Bryce Callahan, and Isaac Yiadom as your likely starting three heading into Training Camp. However, behind them, it appears to be an open competition.

Bausby who has experience with Fangio, as well as some NFL experience, has a clear shot at earning this reserve role. His best current competition is some UDFA players(who very well could challenge him for a spot) but right now, he has the best odds in my opinion.

However, it is far from a lock. He has bounced around the league some and has already been called out by Fangio. A veteran addition via free agency or trade is always in play if he struggles or a UDFA like Alijah Holder could challenge for his roster spot.

RIght now, if Bausby does his job this summer, he should open the season on the Broncos 53-man roster. However, he cannot afford to struggle and/or suffer an injury.


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