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Assessing Every Denver Broncos UDFA's Chances of Making Final Roster

Cecil LammeyContributor IMay 15, 2015

Assessing Every Denver Broncos UDFA's Chances of Making Final Roster

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The Denver Broncos have a history of finding quality talent from the college free agents leftover after the draft.

    A college free agent has made Denver’s active roster out of training camp in each of the last 11 seasons, tying for the third-longest active streak in the NFL. Overall, 15 rookie college free agents have made the Broncos’ active roster out of camp since 2004.

    Needless to say, this team knows how to find talent after the draft. The Broncos can pick up role players from the college free-agent pool, but they can also pick up stars at key positions.

    Denver fans need to remember that Chris Harris was an undrafted free agent in 2011, and now he’s one of the top five best cornerbacks in the game. C.J. Anderson has the potential to lead the league in rushing this season, and he was added as a college free agent after the 2013 NFL draft.

    Some teams aren’t any good when it comes to finding undrafted talent. Denver is excellent in this department.

    In this article, we’ll assess every 2015 UDFA’s chances of making the final roster.

OG Andre Davis, Buffalo

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    Mike Groll/Associated Press

    The Broncos didn’t immediately add Davis after the draft. Instead, they picked him up on May 12. Davis participated in the New York Jets rookie minicamp as a tryout player, but now he finds himself in Denver.

    Measuring in at 6’4”, 320 pounds, Davis can play both tackle and guard. He started all 48 games he played in college for the University of Buffalo, and he was a blocker for three of the top four single-season rushing performances in the program’s history.

    The Broncos are looking everywhere for offensive line help as evidenced by several transactions they’ve made (free agency, trades, NFL draft) up front.

     

    Chances of Making Final Roster: Low

    If Davis impresses in camp, we could see the Broncos keep him around on the practice squad for more development.

WR David Porter, TCU

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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    Like guard Andre Davis, the Broncos did not initially acquire Porter after the draft. The team decided to add him earlier this week. He participated in the Miami Dolphins rookie minicamp as a tryout player, and now he’ll try to crack the final roster with the Broncos.

    Porter has the skill set of a possession receiver, measuring in at 6’0”, 197 pounds. He appeared in 51 games during his college career with TCU, starting 11 games during that time. During his Horned Frogs career, Porter totaled 74 receptions for 954 yards with 10 touchdowns.

     

    Chances of Making Final Roster: Low

    In addition to contributing at wide receiver, Porter can also be used as a return man. He’s not overly quick or fast, but he does have good strength after contact and run-after-the-catch ability. If he impresses as a returner, there’s a slight chance Porter could make the team.

OG Kalon Davis, Clemson

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    Tyler Smith/Getty Images

    Kalon Davis was an intimidating presence on the Clemson offensive line—partly because of his size (6’5”, 325 pounds) and partly because of the ‘blizzard’ contacts he wears that give him an ominous gaze.

    His sights are now set on making an impact in the NFL. He did not work out at Clemson’s pro day because he had back surgery earlier this year. Davis played in 49 games at Clemson with 21 starts and was known as a powerful player who could regularly knock down opponents.

     

    Chances of Making Final Roster: Low

    Davis failed his physical with the Broncos at the start of rookie minicamp. The former soccer player is light on his feet and has plenty of power to his game when healthy. The Broncos could always put him on injured reserve if they want to keep him around, but he’s not quite healthy enough to play.

NT Chuka Ndulue, Oklahoma

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Ndulue is a powerful player who can control his man at the point of attack. He’s listed as a nose tackle, but at 6’1”, 281 pounds he might be better-suited as a defensive end.

    When playing in the middle of the line, Ndulue can knife through blocks to create interior pressure on the quarterback. A bright player, he has a knack for breaking up passes from the line if he can’t get to the quarterback in time. Ndulue can also use his reach, quickness and functional strength to block kicks on special teams.

     

    Chances of Making Final Roster: Low

    Ndulue played in 45 games for the Oklahoma Sooners, starting 32 games in his career. His experience will come in handy, but he might not have the size Denver wants at nose tackle.

OT Kyle Roberts, Nevada

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    RICK SCUTERI/Associated Press

    Over the last two seasons, Kyle Roberts started 24 games for the Nevada Wolfpack. During that time, he turned his college career around. Before that, he was a disappointing player and was suspended from the team’s 2012 spring camp for his lack of dedication.

    Roberts was at a crucible in his football career, and he chose to work hard in the weight room and the classroom to get things back on track. He became a team leader and a favorite of the coaching staff once he was back on track.

     

    Chances of Making Final Roster: Low

    His size (6'6" 305 lbs) and natural athleticism make him a great fit for the practice squad. His technique is sound in pass protection, and Roberts has a quick kick-step to set up smoothly against pass-rushers.

OG/C Dillon Day, Mississippi State

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Day started most of the games in his college career (46 of 51) at Mississippi State. He can play center or guard at the pro level, and that will help his chances of latching on with the Broncos.

    At 6’3”, 301 pounds, Day shows plenty of lateral agility after the snap. He’s a tough player who isn’t afraid to mix things up in the trenches. He plays with high football intelligence and can consistently anticipate stunts and twists by opponents.

     

    Chances of Making Final Roster: Low/Medium

    The offensive line is packed with talent. Many offensive linemen are going to be hard-pressed to make the team, and perhaps Day could join the practice squad.

OT Connor Rains, Wyoming

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    Duane Burleson/Getty Images

    Rains came to Wyoming after two seasons at American River Community College in California. He stepped in to start at right tackle for the Cowboys and was one of the biggest players at his position in the Mountain West Conference.

    At 6’6”, 328 pounds, Rains has the size to stand strong on the edge. He can power his man out of the way as a run-blocker with ease. Rains will need to prove himself in pass protection—especially against better edge-rushers than he saw in the Mountain West—but he does work hard on his technique and footwork as a tackle.

     

    Chances of Making Final Roster: Low/Medium

    Rains has a better shot to make this team than some would think. He’s huge, smart and coachable—all traits that could help him get on the 53-man roster.

WR Jordan Taylor, Rice

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    A former high school quarterback, Jordan Taylor turned into a productive and consistent receiver in college at Rice. He had three 50-catch seasons for the Owls with 57 in 2012, 55 in 2013 and 54 in 2014. Taylor also chipped in with 20 receiving touchdowns.

    He ran a 4.52 40-yard dash at his pro day earlier this year. He’s a big receiver, measuring in at 6’4”, 209 pounds and can fly down the field. Taylor does a good job of tracking deep passes over his shoulder, but he’s also unafraid when running routes over the middle of the field.

     

    Chances of Making Final Roster: Low/Medium

    Taylor knows how to find the soft spot in a zone, and he will come back to the football when a pass is incoming. He can move the chains or attack a defense deep. It will be difficult to crack the final roster at the wide receiver position, but Taylor might be able to do it.

DE Josh Watson, Clemson

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    A player to keep an eye on from this group is Josh Watson. At the Clemson pro day, Watson ran a 4.98 40-yard dash and bench-pressed 225 pounds 38 times. He measures fast and strong, and those attributes show up on film as he was a disruptive player in college.

    Watson has violent striking hands and can jar blockers with his strength and quickness out of his stance. He does a good job of bursting around the corner, and he can bend around the edge against larger tackles.

     

    Chances of Making Final Roster: Medium

    His athleticism and ability to create interior pressure make him an intriguing prospect for the Broncos. While not an edge-setting defensive end, Watson can bring heat from the outside and has the measurables to stick at least on the practice squad as a developmental prospect.

LB Zaire Anderson, Nebraska

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    Nati Harnik/Associated Press

    This is arguably the best addition the Broncos had after the draft. Zaire Anderson led the Nebraska Cornhuskers in tackles this past season with 103 stops—77 of those in conference play.

    Anderson is a playmaker with the nose for the ball. He led the team in fumbles caused (three) and fumble recoveries (two) and also ranked second in tackles for loss (13). He added five pass breakups and a pair of sacks in 2014. Anderson’s play helped the Cornhuskers rank among the top defenses in the FBS in opponent completion percentage, pass efficiency defense and third-down defense.

     

    Chances of Making Final Roster: High

    This team has a ton of athletic linebackers already on the roster. Anderson is going to have to stand out in training camp in order to make the final roster. With his work ethic, high football intelligence and disruptive playing style, he could do just that.

     

    All quotes and injury/practice observations obtained firsthand. Record/statistical information provided via the Broncos' media department unless otherwise noted.

    Contract and salary-cap information provided by Spotrac. Transaction history provided by Pro Sports Transactions. Draft grades provided by NFLDraftScout.com.

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