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Broncos position preview: Denver passed on Brock Bowers in the draft; now a mostly unchanged TE group must be more productive


Editor’s note: Fourth in a series previewing the Broncos’ position groups entering training camp. Today, tight ends. Previous previews: quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. 

On the roster (five-plus): Nate Adkins, Greg Dulcich, Lucas Krull, Adam Trautman and Thomas Yassmin, plus fullback Michael Burton.

How many on the 53? Three or four plus Burton.

Most impactful offseason move: Choosing Bo Nix at No. 12 over Georgia tight end Brock Bowers.

More generally, Denver didn’t sign an outside free agent or draft a tight end at all. Yeah, it was a quiet offseason at the position. The Broncos entered the spring with Trautman as a free agent and Chris Manhertz under contract for 2024 but cut Manhertz and gave Trautman a two-year deal. Trautman led Broncos tight ends in catches last year, though that’s not saying much: He did so easily at 22 catches for 204 yards. Bowers, meanwhile, is considered among the best tight end prospects in recent years and had the look of just the type of “Joker” player Payton loves to deploy all over the field. Alas, Denver also needed a quarterback and wasn’t willing to roll the dice on waiting to see if Nix could be had later in the draft. Instead, Bowers will face the Broncos twice per year as a Las Vegas Raider.

Biggest question to answer in camp: Can a mostly unchanged group produce different results?

Denver’s tight end group was one of the least impactful in the NFL in 2023. They combined for 39 catches, 355 yards and four touchdowns. Around the NFL, 28 tight ends had more yards than Denver’s entire group. Green Bay rookie Tucker Kraft, the No. 29 TE by yardage, started eight games and had 31 catches for 355 yards and two touchdowns.

Part of Denver’s answer will have to come from Krull, who showed flashes as a receiver in 2023 but is largely unproven at the NFL level. If he’s even a 400- or 500-yard receiver, the Broncos will be in better shape.

Battle to watch: Dulcich’s quest to stay healthy.

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Source:: The Denver Post – Sports

      

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