The Denver Bro..."/>

The Denver Bro..."/>

Nick O’ Leary A Dark Horse Candidate For Broncos


The Denver Broncos are looking to add some talent in the April draft. One need will be the tight end position with Julius Thomas most likely out in Denver. A name that the team should put on their list is Florida State tight end Nick O’ Leary.

Nick O’ Leary recently completed his senior year at Florida State. During the 2014 college football season, he had 48 receptions for 618 yards and accumulated six touchdowns. He added a touchdown on the ground as well. During his four year college career, he amassed almost 1,600 yards receiving and 17 touchdowns. Pretty solid numbers for a tight end.

During the combine, Nick O’ Leary had some pretty solid numbers. His 40 yard dash did not go too well as he posted a 4.93. However, his strength is remarkable as he was the top performer for his position at the bench press with 21 reps, not to mention his jumps recorded at 30.5 inches for the vertical and 110 inches for the broad.

What impressed me the most about Nick O’ Leary is his toughness. When he makes contact with the defender, his intention is to run over them and show how aggressive he can be in open space. He can be looked at as a dink and dunk tight end, catching short passes and collecting yards after the catch. He could become that security blanket that Peyton Manning missed during the 2014 season. What I have seen during the season is that there is no need to throw it deep every time. Having a security blanket to dump it off to can be even more efficient.

My ideal place to plug in Nick O’ Leary if I draft him is to have him as a hybrid player. He can line up just about anywhere. This would give opposing defenses fits when he takes the field. Especially if Nick O’ Leary is in the huddle in the red zone. He has shown during his Florida State days that he has the ability to jump up and grab the ball out of the air. He can also become a great pass protector. His ability to block for a tight end could benefit.

The only knock on him that I can see right off the bat is his inability to become a deep threat, which the Broncos can address with another player either in free agency or the draft. His strength could improve as he has to work on handling stronger defenders that come his way, but that will come with time, conditioning, and practice.

He could become a late round steal if the Broncos look into him. He has the abilities to really help out in Gary Kubiak’s new offense and to succeed in the league.