All those CSU fans who have been clamoring for the Denver Broncos to take a look at quarterback Nick Stevens got their wish Thursday, when the Rams’ career leader in touchdown passes signed a free-agent deal with the local NFL team.
Stevens, 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, is one of four quarterbacks on the Broncos’ offseason roster, joining Case Keenum, Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly, the team announced. NFL teams generally have three quarterbacks on their regular-season roster, with the third often on the practice squad rather than the active roster.
Former Colorado State University coach Steve Fairchild, who has been working with Stevens to sharpen his skills for the NFL, believes “he’s good enough” to make a regular-season roster. He’s got the physical skills needed, Fairchild said, and the ability to quickly learn a new offensive system.
There were 13 quarterbacks selected in the 2018 NFL draft, and Fairchild said Stevens should probably have been one of those.
“I can promise you he’s better than some that got drafted,” said Fairchild, who spent eight years working with quarterbacks in the NFL.
Stevens threw for a school-record 70 career touchdowns and 8,550 yards – second only to Garrett Grayson’s 9,191 on CSU’s career list – and led the Rams to three straight 7-6 seasons and bowl appearances while starting 33 games over the past three years.
His 3,799 passing yards and 29 touchdowns last fall were the second-best single-season marks in school history and earned him first-team All-Mountain West honors. Wyoming’s Josh Allen, selected No. 7 overall in the NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills, received honorable mention.
Stevens said he’s improved improved the accuracy and velocity of his throws during his offseason work with Fairchild. Fairchild worked with former University of Northern Colorado quarterback Kyle Sloter last winter and spring and helped him land a spot as the Broncos’ No. 3 quarterback last season. Sloter has since been signed by the Minnesota Vikings.
“I think the big thing is to show that I’ve improved over the last few months, since we stopped playing football, since my last game,” Stevens said before his tryouts with the Packers and Redskins. “Show that I’ve improved, show that I can come in and lead, come in and run an offense and a guy that is dependable and knows what to do with the ball and can operate efficiently.”
Stevens, who earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from CSU, will begin offseason workouts with the Broncos immediately and participate in organized team activities scheduled for May 22-24, May 29-31 and June 4-7 leading up to a mandatory minicamp June 12-14.
Follow reporter Kelly Lyell at twitter.com/KellyLyell and facebook.com/KellyLyell.news and listen to him talk CSU sports at 11:35 a.m. Thursdays on KFKA radio (AM 1310) and 10:45 a.m. Saturdays on Denver’s ESPN radio (AM 1600).