The Broncos have signed six players to the practice squad with more to come.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --The Broncos began filling out their practice squad by bringing back six players that they waived at the two cutdowns this week.
Inside linebacker Zaire Anderson, center Dillon Day, OLB Danny Mason, CB Taurean Nixon, DL Chuka Ndulue and WR Jordan Taylor will all rejoin the Broncos and continue their development from training camp and the preseason.
Their presence could be significant for the long term. Five players who spent at least one week on last year's practice squad are on the Broncos' 53-man roster: OLB Shaquil Barrett, safety Josh Bush, WR Bennie Fowler, kicker Brandon McManus and center Matt Paradis. Two of them -- McManus and Paradis -- are first-teamers.
The Broncos still have four open spots on the practice squad that are expected to be filled in the next few days.
Here's a quick look at the first six players added to the Broncos' first practice squad of 2015:
ILB ZAIRE ANDERSON** 5-11 - 220 - Nebraska
Anderson impressed throughout the summer with his work on special teams, his solid tackling and his ability to cover ground from sideline to sideline, which caught Head Coach Gary Kubiak's eye.
"He has flashed. He flashes every day," Kubiak said Aug. 12. "He's small. You watch him stature-wise work out and you say, 'Can you play in there?' But there have been some great guys do that. I can think of [former NFL LB] Zach Thomas for many, many years standing across from that center. He's a leader. He handles the huddle really well. He loves contact. [Linebackers Coach] Reggie's [Herring] done a good job with him, but you have to give the kid a lot of credit. He's come a long way."
C DILLON DAY
6-4 - 299 - Mississippi State
An undrafted free agent signee, the Mississippi State product was the third-team center throughout training camp and the preseason.
The long hair that cascaded from under the back of his helmet is the first sight to catch your eye, but the second is how quickly he gets back up and in position to block after making the snap. Day's quickness, persistence and his command at the line of scrimmage helped secure him a spot on the practice squad.
Day even fits the size template of the zone-blocking-scheme center. If not for the waiver claim of center James Ferentz, Day would be the Broncos' lightest offensive lineman, just one pound below starting center Matt Paradis and two pounds lighter than backup tackle Michael Schofield.
OLB DANNY MASON
6-2 - 235 - Texas A&M-Commerce
Like Anderson, Mason is small for his position, but lightning-quick off the edge. Mason spent time in the Indoor Football League before joining the Broncos. He was waived on Tuesday when the team got down to 75 players, but his raw speed and improved array of pass-rush moves he displayed during training camp earned him a longer look.
CB TAUREAN NIXON** 5-10 - 187 - Tulane
Nixon can continue his development with fellow Tulane product Lorenzo Doss, a fifth-round pick who stuck on the 53-man roster. The speedy seventh-round selection improved his technique over the course of the summer, and will have a chance to hone his craft on the scout team against elite receivers like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
DL CHUKA NDULUE
6-3 - 289 - Oklahoma
With Kenny Anunike still completing his recovery from an Aug. 20 knee scope, Ndulue will provide immediate value this week, allowing the Broncos to have a viable two-deep and scout team in case Anunike cannot practice. Ndulue was one of the Broncos' undrafted rookie signees in May. He can play all three spots on the defensive line and had a half-sack during the preseason.
WR JORDAN TAYLOR** 6-5 - 210 - Rice
Taylor made an immediate impression during OTAs with a series of deep receptions, and kept up the pace early in training camp. The Broncos' ample depth at receiver limited his opportunities during preseason games, but he displayed a knack for drawing pass-interference penalties, including one that set up the game-winning touchdown Aug. 29 against San Francisco.
Taylor's everyday penchant for catching everything in sight made him a prime candidate to continue developing, but the emergence of Bennie Fowler, who earned a spot on the 53-man roster, meant that Taylor would have to continue his work on the practice squad.