Broncos with a stunner of a trade, add TE Adam Trautman from Saints
The Denver Broncos made a little trade noise in round six of the 2023 NFL Draft, striking up their second deal of the 2023 offseason with the New Orleans Saints. After picking Boise State safety JL Skinner with the 183rd overall pick, the Broncos were scheduled to be on the clock at pick 195 overall and they sent it to New Orleans for former third-round pick Adam Trautman, a tight end.
Trautman was a third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Dayton, where his offensive coordinator was Austin King, a new assistant offensive line coach in Denver this season. Of course, the more obvious connections are the top guys in charge of the offense in Denver these days -- former Saints head coach Sean Payton and former Saints OC Joe Lombardi.
The Saints actually traded up to that 105th overall pick slot in the 2020 NFL Draft to select Trautman, and although he hasn't been a clear-cut TE1 in New Orleans, he's fully capable of immediately sliding in as the Denver Broncos' TE2 alongside Greg Dulcich.
Denver Broncos land Adam Trautman in trade with Saints
Trautman has 60 career receptions for 641 yards and four touchdowns, averaging over 10 yards per reception. He played a career-best 642 snaps in the 2021 season, the final season with Sean Payton in place as the team's head coach. Although his usage took a bit of a dip in 2022, the expectation with this deal should definitely be for Trautman to plpay a pretty substantial role at the tight end position alongside Dulcich and free agent signing Chris Manhertz.
This move certainly puts the future of Albert Okwuegbunam in question, at least a little bit.
After Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft, it looked like Greg Dulcich was a huge winner, and although the move to acquire Trautman could put a dent in Dulcich's overall target count, I think he's still a "winner" overall. Having a strong, dual-threat at the tight end position alongside Dulcich is going to be essential for the Sean Payton offense. It looked like the Broncos came into this draft with a couple of top targets at the tight end position if they could get them, presumably Michigan's Luke Schoonmaker (Cowboys) and Oregon State's Luke Musgrave (Packers) who took visits to Denver but were taken in round two.
The Broncos maybe could have moved up for one of those guys, but they had their sights set on Oklahoma's Marvin Mims Jr. instead.
Ultimately, landing a three-down player at the tight end position was something the Broncos knew they had to do and Trautman, for the price of a late-round pick swap, is going to come in and play a pretty significant role for the team this year. The Broncos got him for pennies on the dollar in a contract year and it wouldn't be surprising to see him play 600+ snaps.