Almost every year, there's a hidden gem or two who aren't selected in the NFL draft.
For the Broncos, those players have sometimes turned out to play key roles like wide receiver Tim Patrick and outside linebacker Malik Reed. This year, the Broncos are expected to sign 11 players, needing guys at wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, linebackers and defensive back to help provide depth this offseason and into next year.
So far, the Broncos have signed more wide receivers than any other position in college free agency. This was to be expected, after only taking one in the draft. The Broncos have also made it clear they're looking for players who can play special teams.
"We realize we lacked in special teams last year," general manager George Paton said. "We need guys who can cover and block and take pride in special teams."
Most notably, the Broncos are expected to sign both Air Force guard Nolan Laufenberg and Colorado State wide receiver Warren Jackson. But maybe the most interesting player of the bunch is Vanderbilt outside linebacker Andre Mintze. He had 8.5 sacks his final season at Vanderbilt and a 4.56-second 40-yard dash at his pro day. He's a good bet to at least make the practice squad, considering Denver's lack of depth at that position.
Here's who's expected to sign so far with the Broncos:
- Shaun Beyer, TE, Iowa
- David Vurry, LB, Georgia Tech
- DeVontres Dukes, WR, South Florida
- Drew Himmelman, OT, Illinois State
- Warren Jackson, WR, Colorado State
- Nolan Laufenberg, G, Air Force
- Branden Mack, WR, Temple
- Mac McCain III, CB, North Carolina A&T
- Andre Mintze, OLB, Vanderbilt
- Adam Prentice, FB, South Carolina
- Curtis Robinson, LB, Stanford