ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Following the Broncos' preseason opener against the Chicago Bears, running back C.J. Anderson made a declaration.
From the Soldier Field visiting locker room, the former undrafted player out of Cal gave this year's undrafted crop a reason to believe in their prospects.
"I tell them that if any organization is going to give that undrafted rookie a chance, it's definitely this one," Anderson said in early August.
Safety Jamal Carter was listening to Anderson then, and perhaps a different young player will listen to Carter spout the same advice in 2018.
For now, Carter can just focus on playing football, as the Miami product became the latest undrafted player to make Denver's initial 53-man roster.
At least one undrafted player has made the Broncos' initial roster in 13 of the previous 14 seasons.
Carter certainly earned his spot on the roster. Across four preseason games, Carter totaled 19 tackles, a tackle for loss, a pass defensed and a fumble recovery.
None of that surprised the Broncos' front office or coaching staff, Head Coach Vance Joseph said Saturday night.
"No. Not at all," Joseph said. "What we saw in training camp is what we saw on tape. We had a draftable grade on Jamal, he wasn't drafted so we were happy to get him after the draft. But what we saw — being physical, being smart, great tackler — is what he showed us."
After the Broncos released T.J. Ward on Saturday, second-year players Justin Simmons and Will Parks moved up in the rotation. As a result, Carter should find himself contributing on key special teams snaps with the chance to make an occasional impact on defense.
"[He's] young, physical — he's going to be a great guy for [Special Teams Coordinator] Brock [Olivo] on [special] teams as a core guy," Joseph said. "Having the skills to play in the box and the high zones in the back end was impressive."
On game day, that means Carter will earn a jersey — and playing time.
"Absolutely, as a core guy and a backup-type safety," Joseph said.