John Elway on TE Jeff Heuerman: This is the year

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 2: Jeff Heuerman
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 2: Jeff Heuerman /

The Denver Broncos will have a great competition at the tight end position, and John Elway thinks this is the year for Jeff Heuerman…

Training camp will be full of great competition, but one position that will be drawing a lot of interest will be the tight end position. Third-year player and former third round pick Jeff Heuerman could be ready to seize the top spot.

Heuerman is technically entering his third season in the NFL, but he’s really only getting his second year of actual playing and practice time. On the first weekend of Heuerman’s NFL career, he tore his ACL and was out for his entire rookie season.

The Broncos got him back this past season, where he showed some serious big play ability as a pass catcher with nine receptions for 141 yards. It wasn’t a huge sample size or anything, but it was great to see Heuerman back out on the football field making plays, taking hits, and catching passes.

President of Football Operations and general manager John Elway says this is the year for Heuerman to show everyone what he’s made of…

"“This is the year. Jeff had a good year. We’re waiting for him to take that big step because we drafted him third round a couple years ago, and obviously he tore the ACL in minicamp the first year. We’re looking at this year as Jeff’s coming out year. Like I said, he had a good spring. Hopefully he makes that big jump.”– John Elway (quotes obtained via Denver Broncos PR)"

Elway is about as patient as they come when it comes to guys he’s drafted. Heuerman is a former top 100 selection and no exception to that. The Broncos picked him in Gary Kubiak’s first draft class with the team, at a time when the tight end position was going through a major change with the departure of Julius Thomas and subsequent fallout of that.

Next: Training Camp Preview: Running Back

Heuerman was going to be counted on to play a big role even as a rookie, but that didn’t end up happening.

In his second season, Heuerman played sparingly but the time to step up is right now. As Elway said, the team is looking at 2017 as Heuerman’s ‘coming out’ year. That doesn’t mean the other tight ends on the team will be alienated and not given an opportunity, but expectations for Heuerman are high and it’ll be exciting to see how he responds.