One of the most underrated defensive tackles in the past 10 NFL seasons has been Domata Peko of the Cincinnati Bengals.
You may know him from his long, wild, frizzy hair that falls fashionably from the rear of his helmet. He is going on his 11th season, having started the previous nine.
Domata’s first cousin, Kyle Peko, is now with the Denver Broncos.
Kyle Peko may be the undrafted rookie with the best chance of making the Broncos’ 53-man roster. A defensive tackle from Oregon State by way of Cerritos Community College, Peko received an $11,000 signing bonus that was the largest of the 22 undrafted rookies who are participating in the Broncos’ rookie mini-camp this weekend.
The 6-foot-1, 305-pound Peko started all 12 games in his lone playing season at Oregon State. In a game against Oregon last season, he had a sack, a blocked extra-point kick and a blocked field goal.
The Broncos had a string of 11 consecutive seasons in which an undrafted rookie made their season-opening 53-man roster snapped last year. The undrafted run began with former Wasson High School star Roc Alexander in 2004 and ended with Juwan Thompson and Isaiah Burse in 2014.
The most notable undrafted free agents on the current Broncos’ team are cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (2011) and running back C.J. Anderson (2013).
Harris is making $7 million this season while Anderson will receive $6 million. Not bad considering Harris initially received a $2,000 signing bonus while Anderson received a “premium” undrafted free agent bonus of $12,500.
Peko is one candidate to re-start the Broncos’ undrafted streak but hardly the only. Four other undrafted rookies who have a shot to stick with the Broncos:
Henry Krieger Coble, tight end, Iowa
He got the second-largest signing bonus of $10,000, which is relatively hefty considering the Broncos’ top undrafted signing bonus last year was $8,000 to center Dillon Day.
“He knows our offense because he played at Iowa and those are a lot of the things that we do,’’ said Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak. “A lot of verbiage that we have. The guy that coached him there for four years (offensive coordinator Greg Davis) is a good friend of mine, so that kind of helped me get to know him a little bit. I think he’s your typical 6-3, 245 tight end. He’s an undersized tight end, but he can run, he can make plays that way. Hopefully he can get a little bigger and a little stronger, but I think he’ll be very competitive.”
I think he’s your typical 6-3, 245 tight end. He’s an undersized tight end, but he can run, he can make plays that way. Hopefully he can get a little bigger and a little stronger, but I think he’ll be very competitive.”
Bralon Addison, slot receiver-punt returner, Oregon
Not fast but very quick, he’s drawn comparisons to Wes Welker, who also went undrafted. Addison received an $8,000 signing bonus.
Will compete with Jordan Norwood for the slot, punt returner spot.
Lars Hanson, offensive tackle, Sacramento State
Broncos had a draftable grade on him. Received a $4,000 bonus. A strong practice squad candidate.
Kalif Raymond, receiver-returner, Holy Cross
Only received a $2,000 bonus but he has a chance to make it as a returner after he ran a 4.34-second 40 at Harvard’s Pro Day.