Good morning, Broncos Country.
The Denver Broncos have been a franchise where undrafted free agents would be given an honest chance to earn a shot on their final opening season rosters. Long-time fans and diehards can list the names of former UDFA’s who made an impact with ease. It’s a tradition in the Mile High City—and one we should all be proud of.
In fact, over the past two decades, an UDFA has failed to make the team only once. And the 2023 Denver Broncos will certainly have a few of them who make the squad. The question is which ones?
The first would be Jaleel McLaughlin. He has been electric in training camp and has shown up in a big way in his preseason reps. The NCAA’s all-time leading rusher has speed you can’t teach and is electric when the ball is in his hands. The Broncos certainly need that type of skill in their running back stable.
In my opinion, I think he has the third running back spot on lock. I’d be absolutely shocked if his name was absent from the list that will be etched in stone in the coming days. But what other UDFA will fight their way to the final 53-man roster? That’s got to be former Illinois offensive lineman Alex Palczewski.
Palczewski was a 65-game starter for Illinois and saw over 4,390 snaps on offense during his collegiate career. Given that experience and his versatility at three positions, it was baffling that he didn’t hear his name called on Day 3 of 2023 NFL Draft. But that’s OK, the Broncos might have struck gold by signing him as a UDFA.
Broncos rookie RB Jaleel McLaughlin has been the most talked about undrafted rookie in camp -- for good reason -- but undrafted rookie T Alex Palczewski has steadily moved up the depth chart, including smattering of practice snaps with starters at RT of late.— Jeff Legwold (@Jeff_Legwold) August 23, 2023
To date, he has held his own and performed admirably throughout training camp and the past two preseason games. After yesterday’s joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams, Head Coach Sean Payton took some time to speak highly of the rookie offensive lineman.
“He’s tough and smart. He’s played a lot of football. It’s not always pretty, but there is this quality of ‘he gets the job done’,” stated Sean Payton.
The offensive line is an area the Broncos have failed to address seriously for years via the draft—and unfortunately—most of their free agent acquisitions over the years haven’t paid off at all. Being strong in the trenches on both sides of the ball is crucial toward being successful in today’s NFL. And the Broncos may have gotten quite lucky with Palczewski.
“Sometimes offensive linemen are hard to get. We were able to sign a pretty good class of undrafted offensive linemen that has helped us and will help us, not only this year, but in the future. I’m encouraged.”
What do you think Broncos Country? Has Palczewski earned a spot on this year’s final 53-man roster? I certainly think so—and I wouldn’t want to roll the dice and have him be snatched up by another team during the final cut process. After all, offensive lineman aren’t easy to find. And when you finally come across a great developmental prospect—you need to do what’s necessary and keep them in the fold.
As always, thank you for reading. Here is a series of stories for today’s edition of Horse Tracks.
Broncos News and Tidbits
Denver Broncos rookie running back Jaleel McLaughlin is the NCAA’s all-time leading rusher but he went undrafted out of Youngstown State.
Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams have competitive first practice together - Mile High Sports
The Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams conducted their first joint practice on Wednesday at the Centura Health Training Center.
Report: Broncos one of most interested teams in Jonathan Taylor - Denver Sports
“From people that I talk to, multiple sources around the league...it’s the Dolphins and it’s the Broncos,” Cecil Lammey said on 104.3 The Fan
Broncos sign DT Tomasi Laulile
The Broncos have added to their defensive line.
Randy Gradishar selected senior Hall of Fame finalist, a first for Broncos’ ‘Orange Crush’ defense | AP News
Randy Gradishar is on the doorstep of the Pro Football Hall of Fame after being one of three senior finalists Wednesday.
NFL News and Tidbits
Jets wide receiver Corey Davis announces retirement from NFL after 6 seasons
New York Jets wide receiver Corey Davis made the surprising announcement Wednesday that he is retiring from the NFL after six seasons in the league.
Trey Lance landing spots: Potential fits as 49ers try to trade QB, don't receive significant offer, per report - CBSSports.com
San Francisco reportedly named Sam Darnold as its No. 2 option behind Brock Purdy
Ezekiel Elliott says time in free agency left him 'anxious' and 'ready to ball' with Patriots | AP News
Ezekiel Elliott’s diminishing output and price tag helped hasten the end to his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys.
Raiders WR Art Powell named Senior Finalist for 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame
Former Raiders WR Art Powell named Senior Finalist for 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame
Cowboys pass rusher Sam Williams arrested for possession of controlled substance, unlawful carrying of weapon
Cowboys pass rusher Sam Williams was arrested on Sunday on charges of possession of controlled substance and unlawful carrying of a weapon, the Frisco (Texas) Police Department confirmed to NFL.com on Wednesday.