By Zack Kelberman
DENVER (247 SPORTS) – The Denver Broncos went back to the Colorado State football well to replace Chad Kelly. The team on Thursday signed former Rams quarterback Garrett Grayson to the practice squad.
He takes the spot of wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie, who was promoted to the active roster following Kelly’s release on Wednesday, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic.
In May, Denver added ex-CSU signal-caller Nick Stevens to their offseason roster. He was waived a month later.
Grayson (6-2, 213) is a four-year veteran who broke into the NFL as a 2015 third-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints. He did not appear in a game during his rookie campaign and was stashed on the taxi squad the next year. After his release from New Orleans in 2017, Grayson latched onto the Atlanta Falcons’ practice squad, where he remained until final cuts last month.
A 35-game starter and four-year collegiate contributor, Grayson finished his CSU career with 688 completions on 1113 attempts for 9,190 yards, 64 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. He currently holds school records for yards, touchdowns, completions and completion percentage (61.8).
Grayson boasts plus accuracy and solid mechanics, though some NFL evaluators believed he was a system QB with limited athleticism. His pre-draft scouting report likened him to Landry Jones.
“Grayson went from fringe draft prospect to clearly on the draft board with a strong 2014 season. Despite average arm talent, he uses good lower-body mechanics to generate velocity and his touch and accuracy on deep throws is eye-opening. Grayson needs more tape work to help improve his decision-making, but his size, production and growth at the position have ticked the requisite draft boxes to make him an intriguing mid-round prospect.”
The Broncos are unlikely to promote Grayson to the 53 unless an injury arises; they’ll dress Case Keenum and backup Kevin Hogan on game days. Head coach Vance Joseph expressed “full confidence” in Hogan as the No. 2.
“Kevin is fine,” he said Wednesday. “Kevin has played in games, he’s a smart guy, he’s picked it up quick and we have full confidence in Kevin.”
Kelly was waived by Denver after his arrest early Tuesday morning on first-degree criminal trespassing charges. Joseph claimed the joint decision — general manager John Elway and team president Joe Ellis also conferred — was made for the betterment of both parties.
“Yesterday, myself, [President of Football Ops/GM] John [Elway] and [President & CEO] Joe [Ellis] had a lot of discussion yesterday about Chad,” he said. “We thought it was the best thing for the Broncos and for Chad. That’s our job. It’s to figure out the best thing for the football team. That’s why it was done.”