ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos are adding to their roster ahead of next month’s start of training camp. In an effort to boost their run defense this upcoming season, they’re adding a high-upside player who played this past season for the United Football League.

Denver Broncos add run-stuffing depth with UFL’s Dondrea Tillman

The Denver Broncos made an interesting move on Wednesday morning, signing defensive end Dondrea Tillman to a three-year contract just days after he helped the Birmingham Stallions win the UFL Championship. Tillman worked out for the Broncos on Wednesday morning, then passed his physical, which led to the signing as first reported by 9News Mike Klis. The Stallions released him from his UFL contract, allowing for his promotion to the NFL.

Tillman possesses a lot of upside, enough for Denver to give him a three-year deal and a $10,000 signing bonus. As a member of the Stallions, Tillman appeared in 10 games and had 27 tackles, six tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and two pass breakups.

He could end up playing a hybrid OLB/DE role for the Broncos defense, but his most evident fit to compete right now appears to be at defensive end. As it currently stands, John Franklin-Myers and Zach Allen are the two starters for Denver’s defense at the position, but having good depth behind those two is crucial. This is where Tillman could make a name for himself in a potential rotational role this season if he were to impress during training camp and the preseason.

Tillman would compete directly with players like Ronnie Perkins, Elijah Garcia, Matt Henningsen, veteran Angelo Blackson, and Jordan Jackson. Considering he’s received a three-year deal, it makes it more likely that his spot on the roster will be secure.

With Jamar Cain taking over as the Denver Broncos defensive line coach this season, the trench’s mindset is designed more to attack the weaknesses of the opposing team’s offensive lines. Can the Broncos strike gold with a UFL standout that could help increase the NFL’s pipeline for establishing a developmental league?