Denver Broncos roster overview after the 2018 NFL Draft
The Broncos love to dip into the Big Ten for talent at the tight end position.
In 2015, they drafted Jeff Heuerman out of Ohio State, who tore his ACL as a rookie and was unable to play at all.
His development over the past two seasons has been slow going, but that could be due large in part to the Broncos’ struggles at the quarterback position. He showed flashes in 2017 of his abilities as a pass catcher, with big time vertical speed for a 270 pound tight end.
Heuerman is the Broncos’ top blocking tight end with Virgil Green off to the Los Angeles Chargers, but he will be pushed for the starting job by 2017 fifth round pick Jake Butt, whom the Broncos and virtually every other NFL team had graded as a first or second round pick in last year’s draft class.
Butt was an All-American at Michigan, but tore his ACL in the team’s bowl game against Florida State and the Broncos decided not to rush him back to action last year.
One player who was a surprise factor in 2017 was former Wisconsin undrafted free agent Austin Traylor who flashed in training camp and the preseason before getting called up from the practice squad during the season.
Traylor played really well in his limited action, showing upside as both a blocker and receiver.
The Broncos like the upside of Matt LaCosse, whom they poached off of the New York Giants’ practice squad.
LaCosse is 6-foot-6, 255 pounds, and showed in the preseason last year an ability to make big plays in the passing game.
In the 2018 NFL Draft, the Broncos dipped back into the Big Ten talent pool, and drafted Troy Fumagalli out of Wisconsin.
Fumagalli was coached at Wisconsin by Paul Chryst, brother of Broncos tight ends coach Geep Chryst. Coach Chryst had a chance to work with Fumagalli at the 2018 Senior Bowl, and was obviously impressed with what he saw.
Fumagalli can give the Broncos another solid all-around tight end and could challenge for number two duties.
Brian Parker is a sleeper on the Broncos’ roster out of Albany with tremendous size, speed, and athleticism for the position.