Denver Broncos: Grading the 2019 tight end position

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Noah Fant, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
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Denver Broncos
DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 16: Defensive back Rashaan Melvin #22 of the Oakland Raiders intercepts a pass intended for tight end Jake Butt #80 of the Denver Broncos at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on September 16, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

Jake Butt

2019 Stats: N/A

2019 Grade: N/A 

Jake Butt was drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, his stock falling considerably due to an ACL injury in his final game at Michigan.

Broncos Country and the team’s front office felt very confident that they had found a diamond in the rough, excited that they were able to snag a player that they had otherwise been unlikely to get. However, that potential has yet to come to fruition.

As expected, he missed the entire 2017 season, still recovering from that knee injury. However, Butt would play in only three games of the 2018 season before being placed on Injured Reserve due to a torn ACL sustained in practice in a non-contact injury. He would miss the remainder of 2018.

Unfortunately, Butt’s woes continued into 2019, when he was again placed on Injured Reserve due to complications from a previous ACL tear.

Going into his fourth season, Butt has played just three games and caught eight passes. The excitement that once surrounded Jake Butt has started to fade, and it feels as if we may never get the opportunity to see his tremendous potential. If he cannot remain healthy in 2020, that would likely be the end of his time with the Denver Broncos, which would be a crushing disappointment.

Overall, Butt cannot receive a grade, due to no time on the field in 2019. It would be wonderful if Butt were to return to full health for 2020 and be a viable contender for starting tight end opposite Noah Fant. However, if he cannot stay healthy, it will be time for the Broncos to cut their losses and move on.


While the Denver Broncos have a solid #1 and a cast of secondary tight ends, there is still a lot of youth and inexperience surrounding this group of tight ends, especially with some questions about health and availability.

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There is a lot of room for improvement for this young group going into 2020 in order for the tight end position to become a more steady part of the Denver Broncos roster.