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Broncos Roster Review: Defensive end Marquiss Spencer

How does this second-year defensive end stack up on the Broncos roster?

NFL: Denver Broncos Rookie Minicamp Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It’s roster review season, and a perfect day to analyze Marquiss Spencer, the second-year defensive end from Mississippi State.

Spencer was drafted 253rd overall (7th round) by the Denver Broncos in the 2021 draft class and signed his rookie contract shortly after, only to be waived and re-signed to the practice squad. His first (and only, so far) NFL appearance was vs the Chargers in January, but he entered COVID-19 protocols immediately after and was unable to play another game. In other words, there’s virtually nothing to pull from last season.

So, without further ado: the good, the bad, and the measurables.


The good

Spencer was a contributor in university. There might not be a lot on his NFL resume yet, but as a Bulldog he recorded 106 total tackles (22.5 for loss) and seven sacks. His athleticism and power showed up when his team needed it the most, such as in the November 2020 game vs Vanderbilt where he earned his first college interception, four tackles, a tackle for loss, and a Defensive Lineman of the Week recognition.

He also dipped his feet into a few different positions, having experience in both interior and edge, and his 6’4”, 301-lb frame gave him a size advantage.

I think Spencer would’ve had a better shot at making the roster if it wasn’t for the ankle injury that kept him out of some key practices last year. That, and he was near the back of a much more experienced defensive end lineup. On this year’s CURRENT roster, however (aka post-Shelby Harris), I think he has a better shot of making it onto the field more than once. We’re not at an embarrassment of riches in DE depth right now.

The bad

The most obvious is Spencer’s lack of experience, but that’s not the only concern. The DE is lacking in speed and is larger, making him a difficult choice for edge. He is better as a pass rusher than he is against the run defense, but he is going to need polishing in both areas.

The measurables

Height: 6’4”
Weight: 301 lbs
Arms: 33 1/8
Hands: 9 12
Age: 24 (until July 16th)
Year: 2nd


Conclusion

I am rooting for Marquiss Spencer, but I wouldn’t put him in a starting position yet. I realize that we’re hurting for defensive ends right now, but I think what he really needs is a more experienced mentor who can take him under his wing and help him fine-tune his talents, because Spencer does have a lot of talent. Who know — he could very well have a place on the starting roster in the future.