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Broncos roster review: Defensive lineman PJ Mustipher

The big undrafted rookie nose tackle has a chance to make the 53-man roster.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 01 Penn State at Purdue Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

At the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos went out and signed a number of undrafted free agents. One of those undrafted free agents who the team signed was former Penn State defensive lineman, PJ Mustipher.

Mustipher is a 6’4”, 320-pound defensive lineman who played a total of five seasons at Penn State. During his five seasons at Penn State, he played a total of 49 games for them and totaled 144 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. He was a three-year starter for Penn State and was named a team captain for two of those seasons. So he brings experience and leadership to the Broncos locker room.

Now a joins a Broncos defensive line where has a chance to latch on as a backup nose tackle behind starter D.J. Jones. He will be competing with veteran Mike Purcell for a spot on the 53-man roster.

Player Profile

Height: 6’4” | Weight: 320 pounds

Arm Length: 32 34 inches | Hand Size: 9 inches

40-time: 5.41 seconds | Bench Press: 19 reps

Rookie defensive lineman PJ Mustipher’s 2023 outlook

The undrafted rookie has a chance to make the Denver Broncos 53-man roster but at the very least, he appears to be a lock to make the practice squad. Mustipher is a space-eating nose tackle who will compete for a roster spot behind starter D.J. Jones.

While it’s early, very early, the reviews so far from OTA’s have been pretty good for Mustipher. The rookie nose tackle was getting praise from the media members in attendance and even got some love from the Broncos coaches during these practices. So, that is a good sign for the undrafted rookie.

Mustipher’s main competition for a roster spot is veteran Mike Purcell. The veteran nose tackle has a moveable contract, so if Mustipher continues to have a strong summer, training camp, and preseason, he could provide the Broncos with a younger and cheaper option at that position.

His athleticism and pass-rushing ability are not really there, but he has the size, thickness, and ability to be a space-eating nose tackle. That is what he did at Penn State, and likely what he will do in the NFL if given the chance. What you are also getting is a high-character player who was a two-time team captain at Penn State. Head coach Sean Payton wants to change the culture in that locker room, so adding players with high character with leadership skills is important to him. So, if Mustipher plays well, he will provide the Broncos with a cheaper, younger, and high-character option to be D.J. Jones's backup.

At the very least, he appears to have a good shot at being on the Broncos practice squad who will join the team if an injury occurs.

Final Thoughts

PJ Mustipher is a space-eating nose tackle who will allow the players around him to make plays. His pass-rush ability is not there, but he still provides a valuable skill to this Broncos defense.

What really helps his chances, if he plays well, is Mike Purcell’s contract. The Broncos could save a good amount of cap space to move on from the veteran and would also get younger at that position. So, that will be an interesting battle to watch this summer.

As I said, he has a chance to make the 53-man roster, but I think he has a very good shot of at least being on the Broncos practice squad come week one.


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