It's time for the Denver Broncos to unleash a player who has been sitting on the practice squad since the beginning of the year. With tight end Greg Dulcich on the mend and hopefully returning again at some point this season, the Broncos have clearly been missing an athletic option at the tight end position, and adding that element could really help the passing game.
Where does the passing game need help? After the first eight games of the season, the Broncos have established themselves as one of the better teams when they actually throw the ball downfield. This is a team with a surprising number of explosive plays in the deep passing game. They know how to execute throws to the running backs as we've seen all of Javonte Williams, Samaje Perine, and Jaleel McLaughlin make a substantial impact in that area.
Whre the Broncos have really been lacking is the short-to-intermediate passing game, and that's where someone like practice squad tight end Lucas Krull might be able to get in the mix and be a major asset.
Krull was with the New Orleans Saints during the offseason, and had an outstanding preseason. He capped off the preseason with a seven reception, 106-yard performance and wound up leading all tight ends in the NFL preseason in both catches and receiving yards. That obviously got the attention of the Denver Broncos, who essentially replaced Albert Okwuegbunam with Lucas Krull when roster cut time came around.
And Krull is an athletic, physical option at the position.
Krull has been with the Broncos now for a couple of months. He's undoubtedly gotten the chance to master the playbook and perhaps the team has even worked out a specific package of plays for him to ease into the rotation.
What's become clear at this point? None of Adam Trautman, Nate Adkins, or Chris Manhertz are adding anything in the passing game. I like to use baseball analogies, and the Denver Broncos are like an MLB team with three catchers that only catch, and stink at hitting. At some point, you need the catcher to hit, or you at least need to consider someone on your farm system who has the upside to provide a spark to the lineup.
There is value in the blocking of Trautman, Manhertz, and Adkins, as well as special teams play. But the lack of upside in the passing game right now is a major hindrance to the Denver Broncos' offense as a whole, and it's an area where Lucas Krull can obviously make an impact. And he's not a slouch in the running game, either.
Krull is obviously a developmental type of player, but you've got two free call-ups before you have to make a decision about whether or not to promote him full-time to the 53-man roster. The Broncos are coming off of a bye week, the Bills have struggles with injuries at linebacker and in the secondary, and there may be no better time than right now to throw this wrinkle into the mix.
The time to unleash this secret weapon off the practice squad is now.
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