By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman
As NFL teams go through their organized team activities (OTAs), it seemed like a good time to check on the former Boise State football players in the NFL.
There are 20 ex-Broncos on NFL rosters right now — down from 25 going into training camp last summer. Since then, defensive end Jarrell Root, wide receiver Legedu Naanee, tight end Kyle Efaw, cornerback Brandyn Thompson, wide receiver Titus Young, cornerback Chris Carr, linebacker Aaron Tevis and safety Quintin Mikell have fallen off rosters.
Update: The list has been updated to add LB Tommy Smith, who signed with Cleveland as an undrafted free agent after the original post. Smith makes it 20 former Boise State players on NFL rosters.
Here’s a look at the guys on rosters:
DT Chase Baker, Vikings (second year): Baker spent last season on the practice squad and is back to compete for a spot on the active roster this year.
TE Richie Brockel, Panthers (fourth year): He played in every game last season, but didn’t make a start or a catch. He played in 11 games in 2011.
LT Ryan Clady, Broncos (sixth year): Clady is recovering from shoulder surgery (torn rotator cuff) and not participating in the Broncos’ offseason program as he seeks a multiyear contract. The team used the franchise tag on him this year. He has started 80 straight regular-season games — making him the fourth offensive lineman in NFL history to start every game and make three Pro Bowls in his first five years. He was an All-Pro in 2012, leading the league’s 16-game starters at tackle with just one sack allowed.
OL Daryn Colledge, Cardinals (eighth year): He has played in all 112 games during his career, including 108 starts. He has started every game for five straight years, the past two in Arizona. Dating to his Boise State career, and including NFL playoffs, he has played in 171 consecutive games since 2002 — every game his teams have played. He’s moving to right guard this year after playing on the left side for all those years. “It’s a big move for me physically, not mentally,” he said, according to Arizonasports.com. “It’s just about switching the plays, but physically I’ve got to kind of undo some technical stuff. It will be tough, but they gave me a lot of time. I was made aware of it real early. I’ve been at it a couple of weeks so hopefully improvement is coming.”
DE Tyrone Crawford, Cowboys (second year): He played in all 16 games but didn’t make a start last year. He finished with 20 tackles and no sacks. He is considered a future starter on the Cowboys’ aging defensive line — and he’s playing end and tackle in the team’s new 4-3 scheme. “We all have big roles,” Crawford told ESPN Dallas. “If we can fill those roles this year like we’re starters (playing) on the second string, we might have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.”
TE Tommy Gallarda, Falcons (third year): He made the practice squad in 2011 and played in nine games in 2012. He made one catch for 7 yards.
RB D.J. Harper, 49ers (rookie): Harper signed as an undrafted free agent and joins a team that’s loaded in the backfield with Frank Gore, LaMichael James, Kendall Hunter and Marcus Lattimore.
S George Iloka, Bengals (second year): Iloka played in seven games last season and made two tackles. The Bengals have a standout free safety and invested a third-round pick in a strong safety this year, so Iloka faces an uphill battle to get into the lineup.
S Jeron Johnson, Seahawks (third year): He played in every game last season with no starts after playing in just half the games his rookie year. He made 12 tackles last year and forced one fumble. The Seahawks signed veteran strong safety Kam Chancellor to a lucrative extension, so Johnson likely is stuck in a backup role.
RB Doug Martin, Bucs (second year): Martin enjoyed a fantastic rookie season. He rushed 319 times for 1,454 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns. He added 49 catches for 472 yards (9.6 per catch) and a TD. He rushed for 100 yards in five games and only lost one fumble on 368 touches. The NFL Network on Thursday ranked Martin No. 57 on its annual list of the NFL’s top 100 players (video at the top of this post). Here is the NFL Network video on Martin. It includes plenty of hamster references.
DE Shea McClellin, Bears (second year): The 2012 first-round pick played in 14 games last year but didn’t start any. He made 14 tackles and recorded 2.5 sacks. He’ll be expected to provide more of an impact in year two, but he also must adjust to a new coaching staff.
QB Kellen Moore, Lions (second year): Moore did not appear in a game last season. General Manager Martin Mayhew told MLive.com that he considered drafting a quarterback this year, but he did not. Starter Matthew Stafford and backup Shaun Hill return. The Lions signed Western Michigan quarterback Alex Carder as an undrafted free agent, like Moore last year. Those two likely will compete for the third spot.
WR Austin Pettis, Rams (third year): The Rams drafted two West Virginia wide receivers this year, which will add some serious competition for Pettis. But Pettis is coming off a strong second season — 14 games, two starts, 30 catches, 261 yards and four touchdowns. He made at least two catches in eight of the last 10 games.
OT Nate Potter, Cardinals (second year): The seventh-round pick made a surprising impact as a rookie with six straight starts until he missed the final game of the season. Veteran Levi Brown returns from injury as the projected starter at left tackle, but Potter’s emergence last season should give him a shot at playing time.
CB Orlando Scandrick, Cowboys (sixth year): He played in 11 games and started three last year. He finished with 21 tackles and four pass breakups. He has played in 72 games, with 19 starts and three interceptions, in his career. The Cowboys drafted B.W. Webb from William & Mary and The Dallas Morning News hints that he could allow the Cowboys to cut Scandrick — and his sizable contract (five years, $27 million) — in 2014.
WR Tyler Shoemaker, Chiefs (first year): He didn’t make it to training camp as a rookie with the Tampa Bay Bucs last year but got a second chance this year from the Chiefs.
LB Tommy Smith, Browns (first year): Smith worked out with the Browns after the draft and signed a contract in late May.
CB Jamar Taylor, Dolphins (rookie): He will miss a couple weeks of workouts because of surgery to repair a sports hernia, according to the Sun Sentinel. The report says the second-round draft pick could return in time for a mandatory minicamp June 11-13. He’s among eight players expected to compete for three lineup spots (two cornerbacks, one nickel).
CB Kyle Wilson, Jets (fourth year): Wilson started 15 games last season and finished with 48 tackles, one interception, one forced fumble and four pass breakups. He could be the third cornerback in New York, with veteran Antonio Cromartie and first-round pick Dee Milliner in the fold.
DT Billy Winn, Browns (second year): Winn proved a sixth-round steal for the Browns. He started 10 games and played in all 16 last year. He accumulated 26 tackles, one sack, one interception, two fumble recoveries and three pass breakups. He should be a key figure on the line again this year.