Denver Broncos: 9 young players who must shine in 2021
Denver Broncos young players who must shine in 2021
5. Albert Okwuegbunam, TE
One of the most unfortunate injuries of the 2020 season for the Denver Broncos was the season-ending knee injury of rookie tight end Albert Okwuegbunam.
By some kind of stroke of good fortune, the Broncos were able to select Okwuegbunam in the fourth-round of the 2020 NFL Draft after already spending five selections elsewhere on the roster.
Okwuegbunam was a playmaker in his three seasons at Missouri, two of which were with Drew Lock, and he lit up the Scouting Combine with a blazing 4.49 in the 40-yard dash at nearly 260 pounds.
Most guys who produce and can run like that get picked a lot higher than round four, but for whatever reasons, Okwuegbunam fell and it was the Broncos who benefitted from it.
Despite struggling with some dropped passes in his debut, Okwuegbunam proved his playmaking ability early and Denver Broncos fans were understandably giddy at the thought of putting both he and Noah Fant on the field at same time in situations where it was appropriate.
The touchdown catch Okwuegbunam made against the Chargers was a great microcosm of what he brings to the table. He is a playmaker with tremendous athleticism and body control.
There’s no denying his speed in the open field but one area that consistently popped on his college tape was Okwuegbunam’s ability to fit his massive frame inside the sideline and make difficult contested catches.
The Broncos absolutely need this player to get back on the field healthy and play at a high level in 2021. Having another weapon like this in addition to Noah Fant is somewhat of a luxury, but it’s a necessity as the Broncos have not been overly effective in the red zone over the past couple of seasons.