BRONCOS

While QB gets all the focus, another position is key for the Broncos

Feb 27, 2024, 8:06 AM

Broncos Country is rightfully focused on the search for a new quarterback for the Denver Broncos. There is no doubt they’re searching for a franchise quarterback in this draft, but there is another priority on offense that needs more discussion.

I believe the Broncos need to find a starting tight end in this draft – and the earlier they can take him the better. Quarterback is the priority, but this league is about making plays through mismatches and athleticism. That’s why young tight ends like Sam LaPorta (Detriot Lions) or Dalton Kincaid (Buffalo Bills) are so coveted in the league.

The Broncos do not have a tight end on the roster that can threaten a defense in the way they need them to. That’s why they should add a rookie tight end from this draft class.

Here are some tight ends I would like the Broncos to consider in the 2024 NFL draft.

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Brock Bowers, Georgia

With the No. 12 overall pick, there’s a chance the Broncos could see Brock Bowers still on the board. I believe he’s one of the best three players in this draft regardless of position (behind USC quarterback Caleb Williams, Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.), but there is a possibility that with the rush of quarterbacks he would be pushed out of the top-10.

Bowers should be one of the standout players at the NFL Scouting Combine. He’s an athletic freak with a rare blend of size, strength and speed. The Combine is the perfect event for a player like Bowers to showcase his skill. Scouts are already in love with his game, and he’s getting compared to George Kittle by NFL Network lead draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah. I love the idea of the Broncos getting Bowers, but doing so would take them out of the running for quarterback.

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Jared Wiley, TCU

As I wrote during the week of practice at the Reese’s Senior Bowl earlier this year, Jared Wiley has the look of a pro weapon. In fact, there were a few times when I mistakenly thought he was a wide receiver in practice because of the way he moves and the crazy catches he was able to make. The position has changed over the last decade, and tight ends are no longer extra offensive linemen. They need to block, but teams are interested in guys like Wiley who can attack the defense.

Wiley is the type of player who can be moved around the formation. He can line up in-line, from the slot, from the backfield as an H-back, or out wide like a receiver. He’s a chess piece who will keep defenders guessing, and that’s something the Broncos need in a bad way. Wiley would be a perfect “Joker” for Broncos head coach Sean Payton. I like the way Wiley attacks his routes, and he’s dangerous after the catch as well.

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Dallin Holker, CSU

The Broncos did not draft Trey McBride coming out of Colorado State in 2022. I don’t think Dallin Holker is as dangerous as McBride, but he is a playmaker who can help move the chains. Holker had a chance to impress scouts earlier this year at the East-West Shrine Bowl. I thought he came through as a receiver, which everyone expected, but he’s still a work-in-progress as a blocker.

Holker is not afraid of contact. He can make contested catches with ease over the middle of the field, and I consider that a hallmark of his game. However, he does not care about contact so doesn’t gain as much separation as he’ll need to against more physical pro defenders. I don’t think Holker will run as fast as some think at the Combine, but he should measure well in terms of explosion (broad jump, vertical jump) and I think he’ll catch the ball well during drills.

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Johnny Wilson, Florida State

Before you click away, I do know Johnny Wilson is listed as a wide receiver. However, there is some buzz that in the NFL he could best make the transition to tight end. We’ve seen this before, but that move from college wide receiver to pro tight end has a great example of how it can work in Darren Waller (New York Giants).

Wilson was a player I was excited to watch at the Senior Bowl, but he ended up getting hurt in practice. Injuries have been a problem for him in college, so medical reports at the Combine will be huge for him. At 6-feet, 6-inches, 237 pounds, Wilson has the frame and length to make the transition to tight end. He may be working out with the receivers, but his future in the NFL might be at another position.

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While QB gets all the focus, another position is key for the Broncos