Broncos veteran TE dominates first day of joint practices with Rams

Is this Denver Broncos veteran TE bound for a surprising comeback in year four?

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

With joint practices officially kicking off Wednesday afternoon and multiple players looking to make final everlasting impressions on the coaching staff with roster cuts expected to begin on Sunday, August 27th, a few Denver Broncos have already stepped up to the plate. Unfortunately for the Los Angeles Rams, who the Broncos are hosting for the joint practices, had to be on the other end of veteran tight end Albert Okwuegbunam's best practice as a member of the Broncos.

Okwuegbunam was a problem all practice long for the Rams' second-team defense and was repeatedly connecting with QBs Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci. In fact, throughout 11-on-11s, he caught three total touchdowns along with an impressive 40-yard reception courtesy of Stidham. Despite the first-team offense struggling to create big plays in the receiving game, Albert O brought the explosiveness to the second-team offense in a big way.

With the amount of competition ongoing in Denver's back half of the depth chart in the TE room, you have to imagine though, it will take more than just a singular outstanding performance from Okwuegbunam in joint practices. Albert O is coming off a quietly good game against the San Francisco 49ers in the second week of preseason in which he was very efficient as a blocker and even created a wide-open running lane for rookie RB Jaleel McLaughlin on a rushing touchdown late in the third quarter. Okwuegbunam also managed to create nice separation on a few other routes during the game however, his targets were a bit misfired by third-string QB Ben DiNucci making it difficult to haul in the receptions.

In what appears to be a crowded TE room, Okwuegbunam will arguably need to have his best week of practice as a Denver Bronco if he wishes to have any chance of making the 53-man roster considering undrafted free agent rookie TE Nate Adkins has had a better offseason all around up to this point. However, regarding his recent uptrend the last week or so, Albert O looks to be giving the rookie a run for his money in an effort to steal away the fourth-string spot behind starters Adam Trautman, Greg Dulcich, and Chris Manhertz.


Even though Okwuegbunam has had his fair share of "ups and downs" throughout his tenure in Denver since being drafted in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, seeing his recent leap in practice is only great news for Broncos Country. It not only creates beneficial competition to a young tight end room but also ensures a viable option at the fourth string spot, assuming head coach Sean Payton decides to have four tight ends on his roster transitioning into the regular season. In addition, Okwuegbunam's big day at joint practice will only boost his trade value. Other NFL teams have expressed interest in trading for the 6-foot-5 tight end in the past and could possibly decide to re-entertain the idea once more if the 25-year-old balls out in the preseason finale against the Los Angeles Rams.

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