Troy Fumagalli surpassing expectations according to Vic Fangio
The Denver Broncos’ tight end position could be loaded if healthy this season, and Troy Fumagalli is impressing in the early stages of OTAs.
If the Denver Broncos can keep their whole stable of tight ends healthy this season, they are going to have depth, options, and plenty of firepower. One guy getting lost a little bit in the discussion in 2018 fifth-round pick Troy Fumagalli, the former Wisconsin star who spent this past season on IR.
Fumagalli was a first-team All-Big Ten selection when he played for the Badgers and unfortunately missed a golden opportunity last year with the Broncos when the team’s top two tight ends went down with injuries throughout the season.
Fumagalli could have ended 2018 as the Broncos’ starting tight end, but instead, the team was rolling with Matt LaCosse, Brian Parker, and Temarrick Hemingway.
None of those guys are on the team right now.
Although we’re still in the early stages of the offseason and OTAs don’t involve any work with players in pads, coach Fangio said Fumagalli has looked good to start his redshirt rookie campaign.
"“Good. I think all the tight ends have done well and I think Troy has surpassed some of our expectations already. That’s without pads on. We’ll see when the pads come on, but I think he’s doing well overall.”Vic Fangio (quote via live press conference feed)"
This is about as glowing of a statement as you will see about an individual player from Vic Fangio, isn’t it?
To say that Fumagalli has surpassed some expectations at this point is a great sign for the second-year pro who is looking to make his mark.
The Broncos took Noah Fant in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. They re-signed Jeff Heuerman to a two-year contract in the offseason. They are also going to be getting Jake Butt back from a torn ACL, but he’s not practicing in full just yet.
Therefore, Fumagalli is currently TE3 for the Broncos and could ultimately see some work with the top offense when the Broncos go to 12 personnel (one back, two receivers, two tight ends).
We know from his time at Wisconsin that Fumagalli is an excellent receiver at the tight end position, even if he’s not a dynamic athlete compared to a guy like Fant. We also know he’s a solid blocking option who can play in-line or split out.
The Broncos got similar positional value in all of these Big Ten guys because they all came from offenses that required them to play all of the positions.
Had Fumagalli been able to play as a rookie, I wonder if the Broncos would have still used a first-round pick on the tight end position. That really doesn’t matter at this point, but this kid can play and it’s exciting to hear he’s doing well in practices.