Denver Broncos: The 5 most important training camp battles in 2020

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Denver Broncos, Nick Vannett
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

4. Backup tight ends

Everybody knows that Noah Fant is the unquestioned TE1 for Denver heading into the 2020 season. But how will the snaps be divvied up behind him?

The Broncos brought in veteran Nick Vannett — the former Seahawk and Steeler — to essentially replace Jeff Heuerman, the guy he once replaced at Ohio State when Heuerman was selected by the Broncos in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Vannett is a solid all-around tight end and the Broncos brought in Drew Lock’s college pal — Albert Okwuegbunam — with a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to be yet another athletic mismatch at the tight end position.

The question heading into camp is really, how many tight ends will the Broncos keep?

Andrew Beck is listed on the Broncos’ roster as a TE/FB hybrid, and for Pat Shurmur, he could end up playing the Rhett Ellison role.

If the Broncos keep Beck in that role, would they also keep four additional tight ends? It’s going to be up to Jake Butt, Troy Fumagalli, and Austin Fort to make that a very difficult decision.

Fumagalli and Butt are recent fifth-round picks for the Broncos who both missed at least one full season due to injury. Butt has been with the Broncos for three years and has only appeared in three games. Still, he once had possible TE1 upside and the team clearly believes he can be a factor when healthy. Otherwise, he wouldn’t still be around.

One of the most interesting aspects of 2020 training camp for the Denver Broncos will be Jake Butt’s roster campaign now that he is apparently healthy and running with no limitations and no knee braces.