The Denver Broncos have signed linebacker Jeremiah Gemmel, according to George Stoia of The Denver Gazette.
In a corresponding move, the Broncos have waived/injured linebacker Barrington Wade, according to Mike Klis of 9news.
Gemmel was released by the San Francisco 49ers on August 23, as they trimmed their roster to 80 players.
The Broncos’ inside linebacker group has seen a large shakeup over the last few days. Wade and veteran Joe Schobert are out, and Gemmel is in.
Now, the Broncos have Josey Jewell, Alex Singleton, Jonas Griffith, Justin Strnad, and Kana’i Mauga at inside linebacker. Jewell and Griffith are locks to make the 53-man roster, but there is not much clarity behind those two players. If Gemmel stands out this week, he has a chance to make the roster.
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Broncos: A Quick Look at Gemmel
In college, Gemmel played four seasons at the University of North Carolina. In 2021, he recorded 73 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and three passes defended.
Entering the 2022 NFL draft, Gemmel did not have a high draft stock.
In his NFL draft profile, Bleacher Report’s Derrik Klassen projected Gemmel to be a Day 3 pick, and he compared him to Washington Commanders’ linebacker Cole Holcomb.
“Gemmel can be a run-and-chase ‘Will’ in a 4-3 system with some coverage responsibilities,” Klassen wrote. “The more Gemmel can be protected up front, the better. His decent range, discipline and coverage skills make him a worthwhile Day 3 bet, but his size and play strength may bar him from developing into a legit starter in the league.”
Gemmel was not selected, but he was signed by the 49ers as an undrafted free agent.
In the 49ers’ preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers, Gemmel had two total tackles.
Broncos Waive Wade
Following Gemmel’s signing, the Broncos waived/injured Wade.
Wade’s path to the Broncos nearly mirrored Gemmel’s.
Like Gemmel, Wade began his career as an undrafted free agent. He was not selected in the 2021 NFL draft. He was subsequently signed by the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens waived him in August 2021, and the Broncos claimed him off waivers. He did not make the team’s initial 53-man roster, but he was signed to the practice squad.
Last season, Wade ended up appearing in four games for the Broncos playing 52 total special teams snaps. He recorded one tackle.
Wade faced an uphill battle to make the Broncos’ roster. Free-agent addition Singleton led the Eagles in tackles in both 2020 (120) and 2021 (137), and he was a standout special teams contributor. Meanwhile, Strnad was a fifth-round pick in 2020, and he appeared in all 16 games for the Broncos in 2021. Mauga, an undrafted rookie, remains in the mix, as well.
The 24-year-old should attract some interest around the league.
The Broncos will take on the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday, and inside linebacker will be a key position to watch. Singleton, Strnad, Mauga, and Gemmel still have an opportunity to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.