The 2016-17 NFL Season: Broncos in the NFL

Broncos in the NFL

It’s no secret the Boise State/NFL pipeline has been very active in recent years. When pre-season began this past August, there were twenty-three former Broncos on NFL rosters. Out of these twenty-three players, nine Broncos were listed as pre-season starters.

The NFL season came to a close on February 5th with the New England Patriots taking home the Lombardi trophy. With another football season tucked into the trophy case, it’s time to look back at what our beloved Broncos did for their professional teams.

Shea McClellin (NE)

New England Patriots line backer and the pride of Marsing, ID, She McClellin signed a three year deal with the franchise this past off-season. He was the backup strongside linebacker. McClellin recently earned himself a Super Bowl ring becoming the second Bronco in two seasons to do so (Matt Paradis, Denver 2016).

One of his most notable plays this season was blocking a field goal on Monday Night Football:

Season Stats: 41 total tackles and 1 fumble recovery

Jay Ajayi (MIA)

2016 was the breakout season for former Bronco running back, Jay Ajayi. Tallying over 1,300 yards this season, Ajayi asserted himself as the Dolphin’s starting running back.

In back-to-back games this season, Ajayi rushed for over two hundred yards. Because of this, his jersey, announced in early November, would be on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Season Stats: 1,305 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns

Tyler Gray (MIA)

Before the season stated, the Miami Dolphins picked up former Bronco linebacker, Tyler Gray. By the time September rolled around, Gray did not make the 53-man roster.

Season Stats: None

Matt Paradis (DEN)

Known as the pride of Council, ID, Paradis was again under center for the Denver Broncos. Once again he played and started in all sixteen games (he played in all sixteen in 2015 as well). Paradis, and the Denver Broncos organization, won the 2016 Super Bowl.

Paradis had the privilege of playing with arguably one of the best quarterbacks and signal callers of our time, Peyton Manning. It was there Paradis had to quickly climb the steep learning curve. Because of his success and leadership, a writer from “Mile High Sports” said Paradis could be the brains of the Denver Broncos.

Season Stats: None Provided

Billy Winn (DEN)

Winn was a key backup for the Denver D-line this year. He played in all sixteen games for the Broncos who did not make the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Winn recorded a season high 4 tackles in a win against the San Diego Chargers. He also recorded a fumble recovery early last October against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Season Stats: 19 total tackles and 1 fumble recovery

George Iloka (CIN)

George Iloka came to the Broncos in 2008. Staring alongside fellow NFL talent, Jeron Johnson, Iloka blossomed in the Bronco secondary. Now in his fifth season with the Cincinnati Bengals, the dynamic play maker has grown into a respected defensive back.

Iloka was the pre-season favorite for the starting free safety position. He finished the season starting all 16 games for the Bengals. His most memorable plays include interceptions against the Browns, Giants, and Redskins.

Season Stats: 74 total tackles and 3 interceptions

Kellen Moore (DAL)

Arguably the fan favorite for “Best Bronco Ever”, Moore received his opportunity to play in a regular season game on Dec. 19th, 2015. He finished that season throwing four touchdowns and six interceptions.

Heading into his second season with the Cowboys, Moore was in a quarterback battle to back up Cowboys starter, Tony Romo. On August 2nd, right before the Cowboy’s first preseason game, Moore went down with a season-ending ankle injury. He was put on IR. His future isn’t set and stone but Moore looks to compete this upcoming season for playing time.

Tyrone Crawford (DAL)

Before the season began, the Cowboys announced that Tyrone Crawford would be starting on the defensive line. He played fourteen games for the Cowboys including their home playoff game against the Packers.

Season Stats: 28 total tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 2 fumble recoveries

DeMarcus Lawrence (DAL)

Alongside fellow Bronco defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence has provided energy to the Cowboy defensive line. Lawrence was the first Bronco in recent memory to leave the school early to pursue the NFL. Before the season started, Lawrence was suspended by the league for the first four games. Because of this, Lawrence only played in ten of the Cowboys sixteen games.

Lawrence will enter next season with a chip on his shoulder. Coming off recent back surgery, Lawrence will look to improve his game on the Cowboy’s defensive line.

Season Stats: 14 total tackles and 1 forced fumble

Orlando Scandrick (DAL)

Coming in as the most seasoned NFL veteran for Boise State (tied with Ryan Clady), is Cowboy’s tenure defensive back, Orlando Scandrick. He finished up his eighth NFL season (all with the Cowboys) and looks to lead the charge in the defensive back field.

Season stats: 46 total tackles, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 interception

Kelsey Young (Was)

Young, a grad student, transferred to Boise State from Stanford. In just one season, Young both took the load off of Jeremy McNichols and brought fans to their feet. In the early summer of 2016, Young had a tryout with the Washington Redskins. On August 27th the Redskins released Young as a part of their first round of cuts.

Season Stats: None

Marcus Henry (NO)

Marcus Henry was picked up by the New Orleans Saints. He played in the pre-season as a key reserve. However, he was cut from the team shorty after this in early September.

Season Stats: None

Kyle Wilson (NO)

Wilson’s 2016 campaign didn’t go as planned. Entering into his seventh season, Wilson’s year was cut short due to a torn labrum (shoulder). He was put on IR.

Wilson has proved himself a talented defensive back in the NFL. Accounting for 189 career tackles and 4 interceptions, Wilson has made his presence known in the league.

One of his career four picks (This one from 2011):

Season Stats: none

Kamalei Correa (BAL)

With the 51st pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select Kamalei Correa, defensive end, Boise State. As a backup for the Raven’s D-line, Correa played in just nine of the Raven’s games.

Season Stats:  4 tackles and 1 forced fumble

Doug Martin (TB)

In the 2016 season, Doug Martin only played half of the teams sixteen games because of lingering injuries. At the beginning of the season, it was assumed Martin would be the starter. Due to injury, Martin did not play as much as he expected.

In late December, it was announced Martin would serve a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy. Martin soon released a statement: “I was notified last week of a four-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy,” Martin said in the statement. “My initial instinct was to appeal the suspension and finish the season with my teammates. However, after numerous discussions with people close to me — including Coach (Dirk) Koetter — I am starting the suspension immediately so I can enter a treatment facility and receive the help I truly need.

Season Stats: 421 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns

Rees Odhiambo (SEA)

Odhiambo was a key reserve for the Seattle offensive line. He finished the season playing eight games in the Seahawk trenches.

Season Stats: None Provided

Jeron Johnson (SEA)

Jeron Johnson has now played six years in the NFL. He played for four seasons with the Seahwaks before landing with the Redskins. However, Johnson quickly came back to Seattle the next season. He played in four games this season.

Season Stats: 5 total tackles

Charles Leno (CHI)

It was announced at the beginning of the season that former Bronco offensive lineman, Charles Leno would start for the Chicago Bears. He played in all sixteen games at left tackle for the Bear’s franchise.

Season Stats: None Provided

Jamar Taylor (CLE)

Coming into the 2016 season, Taylor was traded from the Dolphins to the Browns. In his first season with the Browns, Taylor played in fifteen games. Alongside fellow corner, Joe Haden, Taylor thrived starting at the opposite end of the field.

Season Stats: 46 total tackles and 3 interceptions

Ryan Clady (NYJ)

Clady just finished his eighth NFL season. Earlier in the year, he was traded from the Broncos to the Jets. He played in nine games this year for the Jets.

Season Stats: None Provided

Blake Renaud (MIN)

Blake Renaud entered the 2015 season by signing a free agent deal with the Minnesota Vikings. As the 2016 season approached, Renaud was hopeful to make the 53-man roster. He was later cut by the Vikings in early September.

Season Stats: none

Darian Thompson (NYG)

Darian Thompson was selected #71 overall in last year’s NFL draft. He was selected by the New York Giants. The Giants had a specific need for good talent at the safety position. Darian entered OTA’s as one of the Giant’s “players to watch.” The coaching staff was impressed as he was quoted as being “very vocal.”

Thompson entered the season as the Giants starter at free safety. He played in just two games for the Giants. Sadly, his season was cut short by a foot injury. He had successful surgery on it.

Season Stats: 7 tackles

Donte Deayon (NYG)

Deayon went undrafted this past season leading up to the NFL draft. However, he was picked up by the Giants as an undrafted free agent. While he did good in the pre-season, Deayon did not record any stats in the regular season.

Things are looking up for the young corner though as he did sign a reserve/future contract with the Giants.

Season Stats: None Provided


About Darrek Harris

Darrek was born and raised in Boise, ID. Currently, he has an associates degree in English from the College of Western Idaho. He plans to pursue a bachelors degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. He enjoys sports in many fashions: playing, cheering, and coaching. Bleed Blue, Go Broncos, Amen!

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