After the season, the Denver Broncos signed multiple players to reserve/future contracts. One of them was Jonathan Kongbo, who has had an interesting football career, dating back to college.
Broncos fans may not know much about Kongbo, so let’s dive in.
Kongbo just turned 26 years old in March. He was born in the Republic of Zaire, which was a state of Congolese, but is now part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Attending high school in Canada, Kongbo was a three-sport athlete and showed enough on the football field to get a scholarship to the University of Wyoming.
While he got a scholarship to Wyoming, Kongbo never played for the school and transferred to JUCO college Arizona Western College after his redshirt freshman year. He ended up being a JUCO All-American and a highly coveted prospect, ending up at Tennessee.
He put out some good tape during his three years at Tennessee while playing 1,124 snaps on defense. He picked off a couple of passes, totaled 58 QB pressures, and 18 stops.
Kongbo’s versatility was shown, but he didn’t have one particular area he stood out in. Unfortunately, his final year was cut short due to an ACL injury.
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Kongbo entered the Canadian Football League Draft and was viewed, for a time, as the top prospect. Instead, he ended up being drafted fifth overall.
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After being the fifth overall pick in the CFL draft, Kongbo’s professional career started with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He missed part of the season as he worked his way back from injury but contributed to the Blue Bombers winning the 107th Gray Cup.
Kongbo was released as part of an agreement to pursue an opportunity in the NFL. About a month after his release, he signed with the San Francisco 49ers but got hurt and ended up on their injured reserve list before being released with an injury settlement.
From there, it was back to the Blue Bombers. Kongbo contributed as the team worked its way to another championship. Kongbo was again released to pursue the NFL, and the Broncos picked him up.
There is a lengthy list of edge defenders for the Broncos, which will make it nearly impossible for Kongbo to make the roster. With Denver likely carrying five or six edges, there are only two spots up for grabs, depending on how you classify Baron Browning.
Bradley Chubb, Randy Gregory, Nik Bonitto, and Baron Browning are all cemented to make the roster, leaving two open possibly. For those two open spots, Kongbo is part of a competition that features Malik Reed, Jonathon Cooper, and Aaron Patrick.
All three of them have a factor that puts them in front of Kongbo in the battle. Reed has the experience, Cooper is a George Paton draft pick, plus experience and known special teams ability will matter, and Patrick also has shown a third-phase propensity.
It’s hard to see Kongbo making the roster, but his odds of making the practice squad? Much better.
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