‘Versatile’ Defender Considered UDFA Most Likely to Make Broncos’ 53-Man Roster

Omar Brown

Getty Omar Brown shown during his time with the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Every season, there tends to be a surprise Denver Broncos player that comes out of nowhere.

Who will be Denver’s next unexpected breakout player during the 2024 campaign? Ryan Fowler of Bleacher Report named “versatile” defensive back Omar Brown as the undrafted free agent most likely to make the Broncos roster.

“Last spring, Denver struck gold by adding Youngstown State running back Jaleel McLaughlin as a UDFA. In 2024, that prospect could be Nebraska safety Omar Brown,” Fowler wrote in his May 5 article. “Brown has the size (6’1″, 200 pounds) to play near the line of scrimmage, the hips and coverage ability to mirror tight ends up the seam and the instincts to make plays all over the field.”

Brown played a reserve role in his first season with the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2022 before starting eight games last season.

Like Fowler, Nick Kosmider from The Athletic noted Brown’s versatility and projects Denver to use him in various ways during rookie minicamp from May 10-12.

“The 6-foot, 205-pound prospect could also be viewed as a safety, so he’ll get looks at various spots beginning with this month’s rookie minicamp,” Kosmider wrote on May 1.

Brown Displayed His Elite Versatility Throughout Collegiate Career

Brown began his collegiate career with the University of Northern Iowa Panthers. Opposing offenses knew better than to test the versatile defensive back during his three-year stint in Cedar Falls from 2019-21.

He was a First-Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection in 2019 after amassing 77 tackles, six interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Brown was also named a Third-Team FCS All-American with the Panthers that season.

The defender quickly earned a reputation throughout the FCS as a shutdown cornerback.

Brown recorded 140 tackles at Northern Iowa with 13 pass breakups and eight interceptions in 29 games. Once Brown transferred to Nebraska in 2022, he played sparingly in his junior season.

His senior season is where he found his footing with the Cornhuskers. Brown played in 12 games, including eight starts in 2023 and tied for second on the team with 51 tackles.

In his first start as a Husker against Minnesota, Brown tied for the team lead with seven tackles and intercepted his first pass at Nebraska. Unfortunately for Brown, his career day came in a losing effort as the Gophers pulled away with a 13-10 win.

Broncos Have Reputation in Giving UDFAs a Shot in the NFL

Beating the odds is a proud tradition in the Mile High City. The Broncos have a storied history of giving undrafted free agents a chance in the NFL.

At least one undrafted rookie has made the Broncos’ initial 53-man roster in 19 of the last 20 seasons.

Franchise icons including Rod Smith, Chris Harris Jr. and Lionel Taylor went undrafted out of college. Smith spent his 14-year career in Denver and won back-to-back Super Bowls, finishing as the team’s all-time receiving leader.

Harris was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and helped lead the Broncos to a win in the 2016 Super Bowl. Taylor became the first receiver to record over 100 receptions in 1961. The Ring of Fame member achieved that feat in only 14 games.

In 2023, Denver had four undrafted players on the final roster — McLaughlin, Thomas Incoom, Nate Adkins and Alex Palczewski. If Brown intends to earn a spot on the team, history will be on his side.

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