Ex-Broncos Pass Rusher Lands With New NFC Squad

Broncos, Andre Mintze

Getty Denver Broncos OLB Andre Mintze practices.

Former Denver Broncos edge rusher Andre Mintze has signed with the Minnesota Vikings, according to the team’s official Twitter account.

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Mintze Made a Positive Impressive Early On

The Broncos signed Mintze as an undrafted free agent last offseason.

Former head coach Vic Fangio said he was happy that the Broncos were able to get Mintze.

“He played good in college,” Fangio said. “He had the misfortune of going undrafted. We liked his workout day just as you alluded to. We were happy to get him as a free agent. Being an [undrafted] free agent isn’t a terrible thing a lot of those guys make it.”

In his draft profile, Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline called Mintze an “underrated pass-rushing linebacker”.

“Underrated pass-rushing linebacker who finds a way to make plays,” Pauline wrote. “Plays with consistent knee bend and is rarely off his feet. Effectively uses his hands, chases the action hard, and keeps his feet moving. Possesses good change-of-direction skills, and is forceful off the edge and rarely off his feet.”

Pauline did note that he believes Mintze lacks upside.

“Mintze is a hard-charging defender who got the most from his ability but lacks great upside. He’s a 3-4 linebacker prospect who could be brought onto the field as a pass-rush specialist.”

During the preseason, he had one sack and three quarterback hits.

Mintze made the Broncos’ initial 53-man roster. He was the only undrafted rookie to make the roster.

His teammate Jonathon Cooper commented on Mintze making the final roster. “Obviously the Broncos have a history with undrafted guys, and I feel like they found another gem with Andre,” Cooper said via Kyle Newman of The Denver Post.

General manager George Paton applauded Mintze’s play on special teams.

“The game wasn’t too big for him the first day he showed up,” Paton said. “He can set the edge in the run game, he’s gotten better as a pass-rusher. And the thing that really stuck out – he missed Week 2 because he was injured — and then when he played special teams. A big guy like that can run down on special teams, you can’t have enough of those guys.”

Mintze Missed Significant Time With a Hamstring Injury

Unfortunately, Mintze suffered a hamstring injury and was placed on the injured reserve on October 19. He was able to return for the Broncos’ Week 17 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Mintze finished the season with four combined tackles.

The Broncos cut Mintze on May 12 to open up roster spots for their undrafted free agent signings.

It is somewhat surprising that the Broncos decided to move on from Mintze. He is only 23 years old, and they valued him enough to add him to the 53-man roster last season.

In Minnesota, Mintze will add depth to a talented edge rusher group that includes Za’Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter.

Mintze is the third Broncos free agent to sign with the Vikings this offseason. Guard Austin Schlottmann and cornerback Nate Hairston previously signed with the Vikings.

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