Denver Broncos: 3 Undrafted Free Agents That Can Make the Roster

Nathan Fordyce@natefordyceContributor IIIJuly 23, 2012

Denver Broncos: 3 Undrafted Free Agents That Can Make the Roster

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    Last year, the Denver Broncos signed 17 undrafted rookies. Out of the 17, only one made the final roster. 

    Chris Harris, cornerback from the University of Kansas, made the roster and played well in the nickel and dime formations. Harris is one of the fortunate undrafted rookies to make a roster and actually make a contribution.

    But every so often, there’s that one undrafted player who emerges from the crowd: the likes of Tony Romo, Kurt Warner, Arian Foster and Denver Broncos Ring of Famer Rod Smith.

    Just as there are those cases when some defy the odds and become well-known and possible Hall of Fame players, there are also those that people never hear of or remember. 

    This year, the Broncos signed 13 undrafted rookies. Could one of them make a name for himself? Yes, one could, but like most undrafted rookies, most will go unknown.

    So, could one of the 13 start the beginning of the long journey and make the final roster for the Denver Broncos? 

Jamie Blatnick, DE Oklahoma State

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    Height: 6'3"
    265 pounds 

    Blatnick was named Oklahoma State's MVP on defense in 2011 after he recorded 50 tackles, 13.5 for a loss including eight sacks. 

    Blatnick doesn't have the prototypical size to be a linebacker or a defensive end that can play all three downs. His niche will have to come in the pass-rushing department. In his four career in Stillwater, Okla., Blatnick had 16 sacks.

    The key for Blatnick to get an opportunity to hit the field will depend on what happens with Elvis Dumervil, who might be facing a suspension with a gun charge. Ayers produced some last year, but he could be on the brink of being cut. This will open the door for Blatnick to be a rotational player.

    Competition: Jason Hunter, Malik Jackson, Robert Ayers, Elvis Dumervil

Steven Johnson, LB Kansas

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    Height: 6'0"
    Weight: 239 pounds

    Johnson is used to battling to get onto a football team. He walked on at the University of Kansas where he became one of their best defenders and a tackling machine.

    He found a knack for the ball during his junior and senior years as a Jayhawk, knocking 219 tackles during that span.

    Johnson doesn't have the size to be a starting linebacker, but he could make an impact on special teams. He may also get a crack at playing time with D.J. Williams, who is facing a suspension for substance abuse. 

    Johnson won't be able to play every game, but he may be able patch an emergency hole if needed.

    Competition: D.J. Williams, Von Miller, Danny Trevathan 

Eric Page, WR Toledo

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    Height: 5'9"
    Weight: 186 pounds

    Page is one of the most talented rookies that went undrafted in 2012. A former first team All-American kick returner at Toledo, Page has the ability to hit pay dirt every time he touches the ball. 

    While at Toledo, Page had 306 catches for 3,446 yards and 25 touchdowns. Chances are he won't crack the field as a wide receiver for the Broncos, but the chances are very high that he can make the field as a punt returner or kick returner.

    Denver has lacked in both return games in recent years, and now with Eddie Royal in San Diego, the hole is even bigger. If Page can prove he can make plays as a returner, he may even get a crack at the slot receiver.

    With Peyton Manning at quarterback, Page would have a huge opportunity to come out of nowhere like Victor Cruz did with Peyton's brother Eli.

    Page will have the best chance and opportunity to make the final roster for the Denver Broncos.

    Competition: Andre Caldwell, Matthew Willis, Brandon Stokley (all at slot receivers) Syd'Quan Thomas will be in competition as a punt returner.