BOISE STATE & THE NFL: The 20 Former Broncos In The League – Who’s Scheduled To Start And Who’s Fighting For Jobs?

BY MIKE PRATER
@KTIK.COM

The NFL’s 32 teams have wrapped up three weeks of OTAs, to be followed by June mini-camps and July training camps. There are 20 former Boise State football players on league rosters – here is their roster status going into the summer:

EXPECTED TO START THIS SEASON (10)

Jay Ajayi, Eagles, RB, No. 26 … This could be a workhorse season for Ajayi, who has become a leader in the running back room. He’s working with a personal chef, is in the best shape of his life, and is going into a contract year.
– Base salary for 2018: $1.907 million

Tyrone Crawford, Cowboys, DE, No. 98 … Crawford has dropped some weight in the offseason to increase his speed and improve sack production (an issue with Dallas fans).
– Base salary for 2018: $6 million  

George Iloka, Bengals, FS, No. 43 … The good news: Iloka has emerged as a team leader. The more pressing news: Iloka is the leader of a group that must create more interceptions (Bengals’ safeties had only three picks last season, including one by Iloka, who has nine in 83 career games).
– Base salary for 2018: $4.8 million

Demarcus Lawrence, Cowboys, DE, No. 90 … The second-most productive sackmaster in 2017 is listed as the No. 34 best player in the league by the NFL Network. The franchise tag player with a one-year contract has been working with legendary former Cowboy Demarcus Ware – meaning production could rise in 2018.
– Base salary for 2018: $17.143 million   

Charles Leno, Bears, LT, No. 72 … Has played every snap for two years, quietly goes about his business and provides great value to an offense that is creating some buzz this offseason.
– Base salary for 2018: $4.9 million

Matt Paradis (Council HS), Broncos, C, No. 61 … He has started every game since 2015, allowed no sacks in 2017 and is finally healthy after two hip surgeries. Paradis also becomes a free agent in 2019, so this is a contract year.
– Base salary for 2018: $2.914 million

Orlando Scandrick, Redskins, CB, No. 26 … The former Cowboys star who was shipped out of Dallas after so many injury issues is battling Quinton Dunbar/Fabian Moreau for the right to start opposite Josh Norman.
– Base salary for 2018: $2.75 million

Jamar Taylor, Cardinals, CB, No. 28 … The offseason acquisition is the leading candidate to start opposite Patrick Peterson, but there’s also competition from Brandon Williams.
– Base salary for 2018: $975,000  

Darian Thompson, Giants, FS, No. 27 … The Giants have a lot of questions at the safety/defensive back positions, despite a lot of depth. Thompson has been inconsistent in the league, and is penciled in to start, but is also sharing practice rotations with at least three other players.
– Base salary for 2018: $705,000

Leighton Vander Esch (Salmon River HS), Cowboys, LB, No. 55 … The depth chart is a work in progress, but the trio of LVE, Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith give the Cowboys their strongest linebacker combo in years.
– Base salary for 2018: $480,000

SHOULD MAKE ROSTER (5)

Kamalei Correa, Ravens, LB, No. 51 … He’s versatile enough to play inside and outside, which helps him remain on the roster, but Correa remains mostly a depth and special teams contributor.
– Base salary for 2018: $972,694

Doug Martin, Raiders, RB, No. 28 … Martin was added to the Raiders’ roster to play behind Marshawn Lynch. He’s impressed teammates in the offseason with his fresh attitude and quick legs … and could turn into a starter if Beastmode goes down.
– Base salary for 2018: $850,000

Rees Odhiambo, Seahawks, OL, No. 70 …The offense has revamped a struggling line with new coaches and a new system. The former left tackle can play anywhere on the line, and could end up as a backup to new right guard D.J. Fluker.
– Base salary for 2018: $644,000

Tanner Vallejo, Bills, LB, No. 40 … Heads into training camp as a backup in the middle, behind new first-round draft pick Tremaine Edmunds. Could be the final linebacker to make the roster, and is expected to play a heavy rotation on special teams.
– Base salary for 2018: $555,000

Cedrick Wilson, Cowboys, WR, No. 16 … The sixth-round draft pick has created a quick name for himself – picking up the playbook and making plays in OTAs. The wide receiver battle in Dallas is intense, and Wilson looks to be one of eight players fighting for three roster spots.
– Base salary for 2018: $480,000

FIGHTING FOR JOBS (5)

Donte Deayon, Giants, CB, No. 38 … One of the smallest players in the league should make the roster – he’s a hard-worker and popular in the locker room – but the Giants’ have a ton of depth in the defensive backfield and Deayon has played in only four games in two seasons.
– Base salary for 2018: $555,000

Marcus Henry, Seahawks, C, No. 62 … He landed a roster spot after a free agent tryout – not an easy thing to do. He’s one of three centers on the roster, and is playing with house money at this point.
– Base salary for 2018: $480,000

Chanceller James, 49ers, S, No. 43 … Coming off an ACL injury and facing a deep roster – not a good combination.
– Base salary for 2018: $480,000

Jeremy McNichols, 49ers, RB, No. 33 … Buried deep on the depth chart – has an upside and can play on special teams. Practice squad candidate.
– Base salary for 2018: $550,000

Jonathan Moxey, Cardinals, CB, No. 25 … The defensive backfield in Arizona is loaded – a practice squad player at best.
– Base salary for 2018: $480,000

 

Mike Prater, editor of The Opinionator, co-hosts Idaho Sports Talk with Caves & Prater weekdays from 3-6 p.m. on KTIK 93.1 FM The Ticket and can be heard on Bronco GameNight after BSU football games on KBOI 670 AM and KTIK 93.1 FM. He can be reached at mike.prater@cumulus.com, and found @CavesandPrater(Facebook) and @MikeFPrater (Twitter).

Photo of Demarcus Lawrence courtesy of Cumulus Digital / Getty Images
2018 base salary numbers from Spotrac.com

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