Among the 11 players invited to the Denver Broncos' rookie minicamp, Eric Barriere is arguably the most intriguing.
The former Eastern Washington star, unselected in the 2022 NFL draft, was the only quarterback tryout to take the field Friday at the UC Health Training Center. And all eyes were on him — for good reason.
Barriere (6-1, 210) completed 62% of his passes for 13,809 yards, 121 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions, averaging 270.8 air yards per game across 51 collegiate appearances for the Eagles. He added 22 rushing scores on 376 carries totaling 1,585 ground yards.
Despite playing for a smaller program, Barriere put himself on the national map amid his 2021 redshirt senior campaign, tallying 5,292 yards from scrimmage and 50 total TDs en route to the Walter Payton Award, given to the top player offensive player in FCS football.
Mobile with a strong arm and excellent deep-ball accuracy, if a bit diminutive, Barriere was loosely compared to new Broncos QB Russell Wilson during the pre-draft scouting process. (Both also wear No. 3, for what that's worth.)
Depending on how the Broncos view his audition, Barriere could find himself pushing for a backup role behind Wilson, competing with fourth-year man Brett Rypien, whom the team retained as an exclusive-rights free agent, and graybeard Josh Johnson, whom they signed in unrestricted free agency.
Denver completely bypassed the position with each of its nine draft picks, which may or may not work to Barriere's advantage.
"There were some quarterbacks—really one in particular—who was interesting, but it didn’t work out," general manager George Paton said on April 30.
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