Broncos must try to make something of Albert Okwuegbunam

Denver Broncos tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (85) catches a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (85) catches a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Denver Broncos are enjoying much-needed rest following a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in London. One thing they should address during the bye week is what to do with tight end Albert Okwuegbunam.

Albert Okwuegbunam, in his third year with the team, has mysteriously fallen out of the team’s plans this season. The former fourth-round pick appeared to be the team’s starter following the Russell Wilson trade, but things changed for him significantly.

Noah Fant, who the Broncos took in the first round of the 2019 draft, was sent to the Seattle Seahawks in the Wilson deal. One of the reasons the Broncos were willing to part with Fant, so it seemed, was that they had Okwuegbunam to fall back on.

Nathaniel Hackett has not seemed to ever have Okwuegbunam in his plans. If you think back to the preseason, where Hackett chose not to play his starters, Okwuegbunam was still out there.

When the season kicked off, Okwuegbunam was not on the field as much as Andrew Beck and Eric Saubert, two players who are not the open-field receivers that Okwuehbunam is.

And for the past three contests, Okwuegbunam has been a healthy scratch, not even dressing for the games. As a result, he has caught just seven passes for 50 yards on the year.

The team may have explored the idea of moving him ahead of the trade deadline, but likely would not have gotten much more than a seventh-round pick in return. Now, he sits on the roster, basically wasting space if he is a guy that is not going to even suit up on game days.

What will the Broncos do to salvage Albert Okwuegbunam?

Denver Broncos, Albert Okwuegbunam
DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 12: Albert Okwuegbunam #85 of the Denver Broncos reacts during the second half against the Detroit Lions at Empower Field At Mile High on December 12, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

If the Broncos have no plans to use Okwuegbunam, they should have traded him. Even a seventh-round pick would have been better than a player you will just eventually drop anyway.

But if not, the team should use the bye week to figure out ways to get Okwuegbunam more involved. Greg Dulcich has emerged as a potential star but if the team has two tight ends who can get involved in the passing game, the offense would be much more dynamic.

Beck, Saubert and Eric Tomlinson have a role as well but they are all essentially the same player and they won’t strike fear into an opposing defense. They will be used for blocking and safety valves when Wilson’s primary passing options aren’t there.

Okwuegbunam is still just 24 years old and he is full of athleticism. He could still blossom into a terrific player for the team, but he is going to need to be afforded that opportunity.

Next. Predictions: Game-by-game picks for rest of Broncos season. dark

That is on Hackett and the rest of his staff to make happen.