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Broncos roster review: Offensive lineman Henry Byrd

Does the ivy league product have a shot at making the roster or the practice squad?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 27 Cornell at Princeton Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I reviewed the former Princeton Tiger’s chances of making the Denver Broncos a little in the this post from last month, but I will go over much of it again here in case you missed the last article.

Byrd got a degree from an Ivy league school, so the mental aspects of the NFL game should be no problem for him. Byrd does not have long arms (33.675”) for a tackle but he was able to put up 225 lbs 32 times at his pro day. That’s impressive given the information that we saw my linked article about the bench at the combine. Byrd did not get invited to the NFL combine.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic has this to say about Byrd:

Henry Byrd was a three-sport standout (basketball, football, lacrosse) at Ensworth High, where he played left tackle, right tackle and defensive tackle. His father (William) played football at Vanderbilt in the mid-70s. A two-star recruit, Henry was just 260 pounds and committed to Princeton over Air Force and several other Ivy League programs. He was pushed into action in the final game of the 2018 season at right tackle and then moved to left tackle for his final three seasons, earning All-Ivy League honors each year. Byrd is quick out of his stance with the agility and body control to answer edge speed and adjust to moving targets. His Ivy League education translates to the field in his ability to quickly process and sort everything. He is strong but not always stout, and he needs to make some technical fixes.

Overall, Byrd is viewed as a guard/center prospect, but regardless of where he plays, he has the intelligence and athletic tools worth developing.

Byrd started almost all of his games at LT for the Tigers during his career. His lone start at RT was the only game he started as a freshman.

Byrd is not as quick a Alex Palzcewski, at least in terms of the short shuttle, but he had a quick enough first step to dominate against Ivy league defenders. He also had the best vertical among our three undrafted OTs getting 33”. Vertical leap measures lower body power. Byrd jumped 7 inches higher than Jacobs and 4.5” higher than Alex P.

Of course any vertical looks good in comparison to Alex Forsyth. Forsyth was only credited with a vertical of 20.5” but I found out from “the Beast” that he injured himself while jumping (hamstring). I have heard of players getting injured at the combine, but this is the first time I heard of someone hurting their hammy doing the vertical leap. I’m guessing that Forsyth could jump much higher than 20.5” when healthy.

For Byrd his best chance to make the roster might be through the practice squad route. With how little the Broncos have invested in the offensive line in the draft over the past decade, there has been and will continue to be chances for undrafted OL guys to make both the practice squad and the final roster.

There is a long history of undrafted offensive lineman playing and starting for the Broncos going back to the 80s. Byrd could be the next in that line which includes Keith Kartz, Russ Freeman, Kirk Scrafford, Broderick Thompson, Tony Jones, Matt Lepsis, Steve Herndon, Erik Pears, Casey Weigman, Tyler Polumbus, Chris Clark, Paul Cornick, Ronald Leary, Elijah Wilkinson, Austin Schlottmann, De’Mar Dotson, Calvin Anderson and Quinn Bailey. While none of those were or are great NFL players, they all were starters for the Broncos and all were undrafted out of college.

The lack of experienced depth at OT for the Broncos also gives Byrd, Palcewski and Trey Jacobs a legitimate shot at making the roster as the swing tackle for 2023.