What are the Denver Broncos’ plans for Netane Muti?
The Denver Broncos used one of their day three picks in the 2020 NFL Draft on Fresno State offensive lineman Netane Muti, a strong and powerful player who was highly regarded throughout the pre-draft process.
Muti’s journey to the NFL was a tough one, though not for his abilities on the field. Muti’s struggles in college were mainly due to injury problems.
He suffered two Achilles injuries and a Lisfranc injury, limiting him to just 19 games in college before he ultimately went off to the NFL.
The fact that Muti only started one season in college and was still picked in the sixth round of the NFL Draft speaks volumes to just how dominant his tape is, and at Fresno State, he played both left guard and left tackle.
Most everyone thinks Muti is going to play guard at the NFL level, and for a variety of reasons. First of all, most of his college experience came at the left guard position, but he definitely doesn’t have bad tape at left tackle.
Muti’s body type is also prototypical of an interior lineman. He’s 6-foot-3, 315 pounds with short arms.
What are the Broncos’ plans with Muti?
The Broncos drafted former Kansas State All-American Dalton Risner in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and he was an instant success as the team’s starting left guard.
With Risner at left guard, the Broncos went out and signed free agent Graham Glasgow to a four-year contract worth $44 million, their richest free agent contract handed out in 2020.
Glasgow could play center or guard, but the Broncos liked him as a right guard, and he was joined on the interior offensive line in the 2020 NFL Draft by LSU center and team captain Lloyd Cushenberry III, an NFL-ready player at his position.
With Risner, Cushenberry, and Glasgow seemingly making up the interior three positions for Denver, what does the team have planned for Muti, who was considered a top 40 overall prospect by Pro Football Focus?
You would ideally love to see the Broncos play their best five lineman, and it would be fascinating to see what would happen if everyone was healthy and Muti was playing well when given opportunities.
There’s no reason we shouldn’t expect him to struggle a bit as a rookie, which is normal of any rookie, but let’s just be hypothetical for the moment and ask the question — what if Muti is balling out?
What if he’s throwing NFL defensive linemen around like he did when he was able to play in college?
That presents the Broncos with an interesting situation, because although Muti has played some tackle, he’s not a traditional tackle in terms of size or style of play.
Dalton Risner was an All-American right tackle in college, and there were plenty of NFL Draft analysts who felt like he could play tackle coming into the pros as well as guard, not just guard.
The Broncos don’t have to get cute until they’re faced with this problem, which would be a good problem to have. If Muti is playing well and someone at the tackle position is injured or playing poorly, what would Denver do?
Would they give Muti a shot to play tackle? Would they be more inclined to move Risner out to tackle?
There’s no clear answer to this question at this point because right now, Muti hasn’t proven himself to be one of the best five or six linemen on the Broncos’ roster. If that does end up happening, it would be fun to see what the Broncos would choose to do.