Albert Okwuegbunam still faces tough odds of making final roster despite massive game against Rams

Albert Okwuegbunam is coming off of the best performance in his entire Denver Broncos career.

Los Angeles Rams v Denver Broncos
Los Angeles Rams v Denver Broncos / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

As you watched the Broncos dismantle the Los Angeles Rams 41-0 on Saturday night, you had to feel good for fourth-year tight end Albert Okwuegbunam. It was clear that he needed to have a big game in this one and he responded by doing just that.

Okwuegbunam caught seven passes for 109 yards and a touchdown and he looked great out on the field, even snaring this one-handed catch.

After this terrific game, he has to make the 53-man roster, right? Not so fast. There are a couple of things that could hold him back.

Broncos head coach Sean Payton likes his tight ends to be proficient blockers. That is something that Albert O just isn't. He's athletic, quick for his size and can make plays down the field, but he's not the type of tight end that Payton usually plugs into his offenses.

That's why when the team released its first depth chart, Okwuegbunam was behind pretty much everyone, including undrafted rookie Nate Adkins.

There's also the chance that he just gets lost in the numbers game. Getting down to a 53-player roster means that 37 players are going to have to go. This is where the recent injury to Jerry Jeudy complicates matters.

Jeudy is not expected to miss an extended period of time, but the Broncos will have to have depth at the position at least until he gets back. This means that the final roster will likely include six wide receivers.

The Broncos may have been putting Okwuegbunam in the best position to succeed on Saturday night so that they can possibly engage other teams in trade talks. The return wouldn't be much, but if the team can get something back rather than just cut him, that could be seen as ideal.

The only way that I see Okwuegbunam being kept, and the Broncos essentially going with four tight ends, is if they see him as more of a wide receiver in this offense than a tight end. In that role, he could get a spot over someone like Lil'Jordan Humphrey, for example.

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It would be tough for the team to let go of a player that had such high expectations at what point, particularly after the game he just had, but the Broncos will likely try to trade him to another team before having to make a difficult decision.