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Broncos were smart to sign Cody White

Can the former Spartan battle his way onto the roster?

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 27 Pinstripe Bowl - Michigan State v Wake Forest
White brings more size to the offense.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After bringing him in for the a visit, the Broncos announced today that they are signing Cody White to the roster.

The rookie wide receiver spent the offseason with the Kansas City Chiefs after going undrafted out of Michigan State. He was waived before training camp. Since then he’s also spent time with the New York Giants.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler wrote this before the NFL Draft:

A good-sized target, White plays with steady, confident focus to find and isolate the football and drops were uncommon on his tape. He has some bounce in his steps, but his route speed and stem releases are mediocre. Pesky defensive backs are able to disrupt his timing in press and out-position him. Overall, White is a balanced, detail-focused pass-catcher who consistently finishes at the catch point, but his struggles to disguise his intentions or easily uncover haunt him vs. defenders.

With injuries striking the receiving corps, White should get some opportunities quickly. With the cutdown date looming larger by the hour, it does seem like the former Spartan’s looking at a mountain climb to make the roster barring a huge wave of injuries. Pat Shurmur tends to carry six receivers, and four roster spots are already accounted for. Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and the Broncos’ first two picks in the 2020 draft are locks.

Even if the injury to K.J. Hamler pushes the Broncos to carry an additional receiver, it also makes it hard to imagine Diontae Spencer wearing another uniform. Tom McMahon made it pretty clear he’s atop the depth chart today.

“I’ll be honest with you, I’m going to be—for Spence and everybody—I’m going to get the best returner back there that we can. If somebody beats Spence out. They deserve to be it. If Spence beats everybody out, he deserves to be our punt returner. I’ve never gone into a season and tried to predetermine who that guy should be. I didn’t even know who Diontae Spencer was last year. We were blessed to get him.”

It looks like White’s fighting six other receivers for potentially two roster spots, and they’ve been in the system all this time. DaeSean Hamilton has played in NFL action, while Tyrie Cleveland was drafted over White and offers special teams upside.

Even if White can’t make the roster, bringing him in was a smart move. COVID cancelled his Pro Day workout so teams never got an opportunity to see him work out after the NFL Combine. While he isn’t a burner, the league has gotten painfully little exposure to him without games this preseason. If the Broncos were intrigued by what he showed leading the Spartans in receiving yards, giving him a look against other professionals makes sense.

I like the Broncos’ decision to maximize their extra roster slots right now, even if White can’t make the initial practice squad. Some time to become familiar with the playbook and team could make him a valuable free agent option later this year.