DeMarcus Walker

Broncos Promote Nigel Bradham, Activate DeMarcus Walker From IR

On the Broncos’ practice squad for nearly three weeks, Nigel Bradham will return to an NFL active roster. The veteran linebacker will rise from Denver’s taxi squad to its game-day roster.

This will be Bradham’s fourth NFL team, though the longtime Eagles and Bills starter was only with the Saints in training camp. Bradham has been an NFL starting linebacker 96 times since his 2012 rookie season. While the Broncos have Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell in place as their three-down ‘backers, Bradham should see time Sunday against the Chiefs.

Denver still has Mark Barron on its IR list. The longtime starter has dealt with multiple injuries since arriving in Colorado. Bradham, a three-down player with the Eagles for the past four seasons, will join Joe Jones as a backup Broncos inside ‘backer.

In addition to activating A.J. Bouye and defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones off IR, the Broncos will have D-lineman DeMarcus Walker available Sunday. A fourth-year rotational cog, Walker saw a calf injury send him to IR after Week 2. He registered four sacks last season and did not play much from 2017-18, but Denver may need the former second-round pick more this season after letting Derek Wolfe walk in free agency and losing Jurrell Casey for the season. Although Casey and Von Miller are out, this is the healthiest the Broncos’ defense has been since Week 1.

The Broncos also released cornerback De’Vante Bausby, promoted running back Jeremy Cox and re-signed defensive tackle Sylvester Williams to their practice squad. Denver cut Williams from its active roster Friday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos To Release DT Timmy Jernigan

The Broncos are set to end Timmy Jernigan‘s brief Denver stay. They are planning to release the veteran defensive tackle, Mike Klis of 9News tweets.

Down Jurrell Casey for the season and having placed Dre’Mont Jones on IR, the Broncos signed Jernigan late last month. He ended up playing a small role, working as a backup against the Jets and Patriots. The former Ravens and Eagles starter played just 11 defensive snaps for the Broncos, however.

Denver still has Jones on IR, but he is eligible to return to the active roster after missing the past three games. Vic Fangio said Jones and fourth-year defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker (also on IR) have a chance to play in Week 7. The Broncos used Shelby Harris, Mike Purcell and DeShawn Williams as their D-line starters against the Patriots. With Casey out, Jones would be in line for a bigger role than he had as a rookie.

This has been a complicated year for Jernigan, a full-time starter for the 2016 Ravens and 2017 Super Bowl champion Eagles. His one-year, $3.75MM Texans deal ended up being called off. The Jaguars signed him in mid-August but cut him in September. The 28-year-old defender will be back in free agency after another short stay with a team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Place Mark Barron, DeMarcus Walker On IR

The Broncos’ IR list is filling up. Mark Barron and DeMarcus Walker will join the likes of Von Miller, Courtland Sutton and A.J. Bouye on Denver’s injured reserve, Vic Fangio said Wednesday.

Barron has yet to make his Denver debut; a hamstring injury has kept the veteran linebacker off the field. Walker, a fourth-year defensive end, suffered a calf injury in the Broncos’ Week 2 loss to the Steelers. Both players are eligible to return in Week 6.

While the Broncos have been hit harder than just about any team with injuries this season — with four of the six former Pro Bowlers on their roster currently unavailable — they are not placing Drew Lock on IR. The prospect of Lock returning before Week 6 induced the team to keep its starting quarterback on its 53-man roster, Fangio said. Lock, however, could be out for close to six weeks. But the Broncos will go with three active-roster QBs for the time being. They agreed to terms with Blake Bortles on Tuesday; he will join Jeff Driskel on the roster.

Denver signed Barron after releasing Todd Davis. The former was set to work as passing-down linebacker alongside Alexander Johnson. Those plans are on hold. The Steelers released Barron earlier this year, doing so a year after the Rams made the former first-round pick a cap casualty.

Walker beat out Christian Covington for a roster spot this year, after showing some promise down the stretch last season. The Broncos drafted Walker in the 2017 second round. Although Walker has not quite lived up to his draft slot — particularly in his first two seasons — Fangio and Co. kept the Vance Joseph-era investment around as a depth player. The team now has Walker and 2019 third-round D-lineman Dre’Mont Jones on IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Release Candidate: Broncos DE DeMarcus Walker

Two years ago, the Broncos used a second-round pick to select DeMarcus Walker out of Florida State. Today, the defensive end may be on Denver’s roster bubble.

[RELATED: Broncos TE Jake Butt Eyeing Training Camp Return]

Walker appeared in ten games for the Broncos as a rookie, but saw the field just three times in 2018. At one point, the Broncos tried to jumpstart his career by moving him to outside linebacker before shifting him back to defensive end, but, so far, nothing has worked.

Ordinarily, a team would stick things out with a young second-round pick like Walker, but Walker finds himself buried in a defensive line group that also includes Derek Wolfe, Adam Gotsis, Shelby Harris, Zach Kerr, and third-round pick Dre’Mont Jones. To make the 53-man cut, he’ll have to leapfrog at least one veteran while staving off the rest of the pack on the 90-man offseason roster.

If Walker doesn’t stick with the Broncos, you can expect him to immediately draw interest on the waiver wire. The 6’4″, 280-pound defender compiled 16 sacks as a senior at FSU and had the attention of several teams heading into the ’17 draft. In fact, before selecting Walker at No. 51 overall, the Broncos pondered a trade up to land him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Pick Signings: 5/12/17

The Texans announced the signing of Deshaun Watson and five other draft picks today. The former Clemson quarterback will make $13.85MM with an $8.25MM signing bonus, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Lions also signed first-rounder Jarrad Davis, along with seven other draft choices.

Here are the rest of Friday’s draft signings.

  • The Broncos and second-round defensive end Demarcus Walker arrived at an agreement, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post reports (on Twitter). It’s a four-year worth upwards of $5.1MM for the Florida State defensive end, per Jhabvala, who adds he will receive a $1.8MM signing bonus. Walker is expected to compete with Jared Crick and Zach Kerr for the Broncos’ right defensive end position opposite Derek Wolfe. Walker is the second defensive end Denver’s drafted in the past two years, following Adam Gotsis, who did not play much last season.
  • Both of the Jaguars‘ seventh-round selections are now signed. The Jags inked cornerback Jalen Myrick and fullback Marquez Williams. A Minnesota product, Myrick is a notable seventh-round choice because the ex-Golden Gopher defender blazed to the fastest 40-yard dash (4.28 seconds) a Big Ten player has clocked since the Combine began measuring these times. Williams spent three seasons at Division II Mars Hill (North Carolina) before transferring to Miami for his senior season. The Jags still have five unsigned picks.
  • Four late-round draft picks agreed to terms with the Titans, the team announced. Sixth-round guard/center Corey Levin is signed. So are seventh-rounders Josh Carraway, a linebacker, Brad Seaton, a tackle, and running back Khalfani Muhammad.
  • The 49ers signed third-round pick Ahkello Witherspoon, a cornerback out of Colorado, the team announced. Witherspoon was the second Buffaloes corner to come off the board in last month’s draft, following Cowboys second-rounder Chidobe Awuzie. Witherspoon led Division I in pass deflections last season with 22, a number that tied an 18-year-old Colorado school record.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

AFC Draft Notes: Mixon, Raiders, Dolphins

Some assorted draft notes from around the AFC…

  • Half the league didn’t have embattled running back Joe Mixon on their draft board, tweets NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. Meanwhile, other evaluators believe he was the best overall running back if they were only evaluating on-field skills. ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter adds that only four teams said they would consider drafting Mixon. We can assume that one of those four organizations was the Bengals, who selected the running back in the second round.
  • The Raiders selected UConn safety Obi Melifonwu in the second round, although Rapoport tweets that the organization was close to selecting the defensive back in the first.
  • The Dolphins ultimately selected defensive end Charles Harris with the 22nd pick on Thursday night. However, if the Missouri product hadn’t been available, the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero says (via Twitter) that the team would have selected Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton.
  • The Broncos were rather committed to selecting Florida State defensive end DeMarcus Walker. In fact, general manager John Elway revealed that he was willing to trade up if he needed to. “We made a lot of attempts to get up in (second round) to trade for Walker,” Elway told Troy Renck of Denver7 (Twitter link). “Things worked out.” Walker was selected by the Broncos with the 51st overall pick.
  • Good news out of Houston: Rapoport tweets that the Texans don’t believe running back D’Onta Foreman needs surgery on the stress fracture in his foot. The team found “no progressions in the injury at rechecks,” which apparently made them comfortable enough to select him in the third round.