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Broncos tweak roster, bringing in six new players to get to 53

(Photo by Wesley Hitt / Getty Images)

A day after initially cutting down to the league-mandated maximum of 53 players, the Broncos made some tweaks to their roster. They added four players via waiver claims and signed two more as free agents, meaning they needed to free up six spots on the 53-man roster.

Denver accomplished that by cutting three players (River Cracraft, Jake Rodgers and Josh Watson) and moving three to injured reserve (Jake Butt, Drew Lock and Theo Riddick). That allowed them to add the following players:


Brandon Allen (QB) – A sixth-round pick by the Jaguars in the 2016 NFL Draft, Allen spent this preseason with the Rams, allowing the Broncos to get a firsthand look at him when Denver travelled to Los Angeles for an exhibition game. They must’ve seen something they liked, as John Elway and Company decided the former University of Arkansas quarterback was a better option than Kevin Hogan to back up Joe Flacco. Given his preseason numbers (44 of 69 for 431 yards, with zero touchdowns and three interceptions), however, that’s hard to understand. He’s never appeared in a regular-season NFL game.

Andrew Beck (TE) – After going undrafted, this University of Texas product signed with the Patriots. In the first season without Rob Gronkowski in New England, Beck was believed to have a chance to make the final roster, which is part of the reason he received $115,000 to sign as a free agent after the draft. At 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, this former linebacker can also play some fullback, something the Broncos need while they wait for Andy Janovich to return from injury.

Davontae Harris (CB) – Selected in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Bengals, his rookie season was derailed by a knee injury suffered in the final preseason game. Harris did return later in the year, but only appeared in three games with Cincinnati, seeing the field only on special teams. Harris played college football at Illinois State, but hails originally from Kansas, which is where he earned his catchy nickname – The Wichita Kid.

Corey Levin (C/G) – Drafted in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Titans, Levin spent two seasons in Tennessee. The first, he didn’t see the field at all. But last year, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga product appeared in all 16 games, including one start. He’s versatile in the middle of the offensive line, having played left guard with the Titans. But most reports are projecting him as a center for the Broncos, where he’ll back up starter Connor McGovern.

Corey Nelson (LB) – Nelson spent the first four seasons of his NFL career in Denver after being selected in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Mostly, he excelled on special teams, where he helped the Broncos win a Super Bowl in 2015. He did start six games at linebacker in 2016, recording 61 tackles on the season. When his rookie contract expired, Nelson left via free agency, signing in 2018 with the Falcons. After one uneventful season in Atlanta, where he appeared in just one game, Nelson tried to earn a spot with the Buccaneers during camp, but he was released after the final preseason game.

Diontae Spencer (WR) – After going undrafted in 2014, Spencer had a tryout with the Rams. After not making the final roster, the wideout headed north, spending four seasons in the Canadian Football League. There, he found a lot of success as a receiver and returner. In 2017, he set a CFL record for all-purpose yards in a single game, racking up 496 in receiving and returns. He was an All-Star as a punt and kick returner with the Ottawa Redblacks, but also served as a productive option on offense. He’ll get a chance to fill all those roles with the Broncos.