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NFL Dreams Possible for Local Undrafted Free Agents

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Last week’s NFL draft drew more than 40 million viewers according to Pro Football Talk, and one of the stories that still has most people talking is the Denver Broncos’ first-round selection of star Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. The debate concerning Tebow’s ability to evolve into a quality NFL quarterback is ongoing, but the Broncos on Monday signed a gaggle of undrafted free agents with an even stronger Colorado connection.

The Denver Post (free registration required) reports that two of the 19 undrafted college free agents are well known to local sports fans. University of Colorado tight end Riar Geer will have the opportunity to battle for a roster spot, as will Air Force defensive lineman Ben Garland. Geer tells CUBuffs.com that he would have loved to have been drafted, “but that was more wishful thinking than anything else.”

Still, he says he grew up a devout Broncos fans and couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to stay in Colorado and play at the professional level. He’ll face stiff competition from the tight ends already on the Broncos’ roster, such as fellow CU alum Daniel Graham. Geer may still find a role if he can hold his own against Marquez Branson and Richard Quinn, two tight ends who haven’t had much success in Denver’s scheme.

Several other NFL teams signed former CU Buffs as undrafted free agents, including Ben Burney, who was signed by the Cleveland Browns; Patrick Devenny, picked up by the Seattle Seahawks; Justin Drescher, signed by the Atlanta Falcons; and Marcus Burton, given a chance by the New York Jets.

It’s tough for these players to land on the final 53-man roster, but it’s not impossible. Last year, nose tackle Chris Baker made the cut, and cornerback Tony Carter made the team off the eight-man practice squad later in the year. All the players have to do for inspiration is look at former Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith, who landed on the team as an undrafted free agent and went on to have a brilliant career with the Broncos.

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