You can never have enough depth.
Hence the Denver Broncos' recent signing of Forrest Merrill. The third-year defensive lineman doesn’t bring much experience but could provide much-needed depth to a unit that desperately needs it.
Height: 6’1” | Weight: 338 pounds | Age: 26 years old
Arm Length: 32” | Hands: 9 1/4
Forrest Merrill’s 2023 outlook
Merril is a third-year defensive lineman from Arkansas State. He signed with the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2021. Merrill spent his rookie season on the Chargers practice squad. The following offseason he was released and signed by the Seattle Seahawks. Merrill was released by Seattle in June.
In his NFL career, Merrill has played in four games and registered four tackles. All four games were with the Chargers in 2021.
Now Merrill looks to find a way to stick the Broncos after signing a contract.
Given Denver’s need for depth, especially after the suspension of Eyioma Uwazurike, Merrill has a shot.
Based on reports of Merrill heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, he’s got a belligerent demeanor that’s good for making a mess of the interior of the defense with a good wide frame and low center of gravity.
As Lance Zierlein noted on Merrill at the time:
“He’s a pure nose with below-average rush, but can be a handful to block as a run defender. His lack of physical traits will pull him off the board for some teams, but he might have a shot to earn a roster spot as a free agent.”
Even if Merrill only played on the run defense, but is able to make an impact, that’s a huge benefit for the Broncos' defense.
Whether Merrill can actually do that remains to be seen. For that to happen he’s going to have to take advantage of each opportunity in training camp and the three preseason games.
If Merrill is able to do that, he’ll find himself on the 53-man roster. The more likely scenario is he ends up on the practice squad in the 2023 season.