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Future Broncos: Outlining the 2019 NFL Draftís tight end

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Future Broncos: Outlining the 2019 NFL Draftís tight end
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prospects Given the issues the Denver Broncos have had on defense early on this season Womens Courtland Sutton Jersey , I had originally planned on an installment of this series focusing on defensive prospects that would help several of the franchiseís long-term needs on that side of the ball. However, yesterdayís news regarding tight end Jake Butt prompted interest in going another direction by focusing on the top prospects who are eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft at tight end.Over the past four drafts, the Broncos have utilized a selection on a tight end in three of them. In 2015, they snagged Jeff Heuerman out of Ohio State. Two years later they selected Jake Butt out of Michigan. This past draft Denver opted for Wisconsinís Troy Fumagalli. All three of them were highly-regarded players for their respective collegiate teams, but all had injury concerns which caused them to slide in the draft.Unfortunately, those concerns followed them to the professional ranks, with each of them missing their rookie campaigns to recover from injury ó and with Butt essentially missing two full seasons in the row due to ACL injuries. With that in mind, itís obvious to observe that the current state of the Broncosí tight end is a significant cause for concern. Jeff Heuerman and Matt LaCosse are currently the only two active tight ends on the roster, with Brian Parker residing on the teamís practice squad.That may arguably be the least talented group in the entire league, so an infusion of talent whether through free agency or next yearís draft is paramount. Since Future Broncos is solely dedicated to draft prospects, I will keep my analysis to outlining some of the best prospects in the nation at the position from the collegiate ranks.Noah Fant (Junior) ó IowaAs illustrated above, the Broncos have made the Big Ten Conference their recent pipeline for tight end prospects over the past several drafts. Coincidentally, the consensus number one prospect eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft is from the same conference. Who is that you ask? It is Noah Fant out of Iowa.Playing primarily as a backup to George Kittle as a freshman in 2016, Fant impressed scouts during his sophomore season by reeling in 30 receptions for 494 and 11 touchdowns. His play earned him third-team All-Big Ten honors by the coaches and media. After a slow start to begin the year and issues with drops, Fant has started to pick up steam over thepast two weeks. In four games, he has 15 catches for 169 yards and 4 touchdowns. With the 2019 NFL Draft lacking proven senior commodities at the position, Fant is regarded as the top underclassmen available and itís easy to see why.Experience as an in-line tight end? Check. Experience as a move tight end? Check. Showcasing his premier athleticism by lining up outside as a receiver? You bet. Not to mention, he is touted as the best tight end prospect Kirk Ferentz has ever coached. Now thatís saying something, especially when you realize how many former Iowa tight ends have been drafted in the nearly two decades he has been their head coach.According to reports, Fant has broken a handful of drill records in his time with the Hawkeyes ó most notably a 42 inch vertical leap that would have been best in that category at the NFL Combine over the past seven years. By all accounts, Fant has the potential to be a true difference maker and a match-up nightmare in the National Football League. Thatís something you canít say about anyone currently on the Broncosí roster.If Fant declares, he is a sure-fire bet to find a home somewhere in the first round. It may not be the ďpopularĒ choice for most fans, but he certainly merits consideration and would provide the franchise with an All-Pro caliber talent at the position. With significant upgrades at running back and wide receiver, adding a blue-chip prospect like Fant to the offense would open up a whole new dimension to their game that has been missing for years. Whatís not to like about that?If you want to take a closer look at Fant, you can see him in action a week from tomorrow against the Minnesota Gophers on October 6.Albert Okwuegbunam (RS Sophomore) ó MissouriFor as impressive as Fant was last season with the Hawkeyes Youth Bradley Roby Jersey , another young tight end was equally as productive in his first year on the field. Enter Missouri redshirt sophomore Albert Okwuegbunam, who became a red zone and third-down favorite of quarterback Drew Lock in his first campaign. He amassed 29 catches for 415 yards and 11 touchdowns in the Southeastern Conference, proving that despite his youth ó he was ready to play at a high level.His big play ability hasnít been on display as much in four games this year, with his yard per reception average nearly half of what it was in 2017. Nevertheless, he has been a reliable target and consistent chain-mover for the Tigers racking up 23 catches, 181 yards and 2 touchdowns to date. At 6í5 and 250 pounds, Okwuegbunam has the size to create problems at the next level and offers top-tier athletic traits, but isnít nearly as refined as Fant is as a prospect. A weak crop of senior talent at the position, as well as Lockís entrance into this yearís draft may signal an early declaration from the talented player.You can see him in action this Saturday morning when the Tigers take on the South Carolina Gamecocks.You Canít Forget AboutCaleb Wilson (Junior) ó UCLAA favorite of current Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen, Wilson was on pace for a larger impact in respect to yardage and receptions than either Fant or Okwuegbunam in 2017. Unfortunately, he suffered a broken foot in his fifth game of the year against Colorado and missed the rest of the season. But in those five games, Wilson was dominant and hauled in 38 receptions for 490 yards and a touchdown. Wilson has good athletic traits and a knack for getting open, but leaves a lot to be desired as a blocker. Playing in only two games this year, he has 8 receptions for 128 yards.C.J. Conrad (Senior) ó KentuckyLike Wilson, Conradís 2017 campaign ended early due to a foot injury. In only seven games he had 16 receptions for 286 yards and four touchdowns. Fans of the Wildcat senior praise him often, referencing his top-notch blocking skills and big-play ability as a receiver. Conrad is known for his versatility and ability to play as an in-line and move tight end. In four games this year, Conrad hasnít had much of an impact and has been underutilized with just 10 receptions for 58 yards. However, he has played a key role in springing big runs for Benny Snell Jr., Terry Wilson and Asim Rose.Honorable MentionLogan Parker (Senior) ó Southern UtahKaden Smith (Junior) ó StanfordTommy Sweeney (Senior) ó Boston College Broncos fans are no strangers to the old emotional rollercoaster. From humiliating Super Bowl losses to dominant Super Bowl victories. From being the only franchise to have not one, but two, legendary quarterbacks walk off into the sunset on top of the football world all the way over to years of quarterback purgatory. Heck, the entire 2015 season was nearly heart attack-inducing, with the Broncos cruising to an NFL record 11 victories won by 7 points or less. But they donít usually give us quite this much whiplash.A bit less than 8 days ago, the Broncos absolutely balled out. After a month of losses and mounting frustration for the team and fans alike, they claimed their first road win of the season by crushing the Arizona Cardinals in pretty much every phase of the game. Whether it signals the beginning of a turn-around or will just be a bright spot in a lost season Womens Bradley Chubb Jersey , we canít yet say. But, for one night at least, the good times were here again. It just feels good to be able to sit and enjoy being on the shiny side of a 45-10 beatdown occasionally.Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesWhile it wouldíve been nice to sail smoothly through the following mini-bye, it just wasnít in the cards it seems. In the midst of an otherwise very normal Halloween party, Chad Kelly engaged in a string of bad decisions that cost him his job, landed him in court, and saddled the Broncos and their players with an embarrassing and mostly misguided social media backlash. Itís the worst sort of press a team can get, and right before traveling to face the most dangerous team in the division in their own stadium is close to the worst timing possible for it.The sharp contrast between the high of one weekend and the low of the next is jarring, and itís fair to wonder how the team will proceed. On the personnel level, we know that Kellyís stunt got him kicked out of the Broncos organization & Isaiah McKenzie stepped in to fill the vacant roster spot. But what about the season at large? With probably our toughest away game coming up this weekend, I think the Broncos are approaching their make it or break it moment.If the Broncos lose to the Chiefs...Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty ImagesIf the Broncos lose, then the season almost certainly becomes what weíve all worried it will be: another year lost in QB purgatory and the catalyst of a long-denied full rebuild of the team. It means the final demise of the 2015 Super Bowl core, the trade or eventual release of some of those players, and the transition of others into a new role as the foundation pieces the organization will seek to build a new, young core around. A loss Sunday would also probably signal the end of the Vance Joseph era in Denver. It might not result in firings then and there, but it would likely make such firings inevitable rather than just likely. Thereís no reason to go into a rebuilding phase with a losing coach- and despite all his efforts, Vance Joseph has been exactly that.Will a loss mean the Broncos tank the season outright? Will the organization ďSuck for the DuckĒ as some have put it? No. Thatís not Broncos football. It wouldnít of happened under Pat Bowlen, and it certainly wonít under John Elway. Regardless of what happens Sunday, thereíre probably still some wins left in this team. How many wins and what impact will they have on our draft position is the question.But if the Broncos beat the Chiefs...Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty ImagesWell, this is where things would get interesting. Obviously, itíd be a very impressive win. Itíd mean that the coaches have finally figured out the teamís identity and are coaching to those strengths- because thereís no way it happens if they donít reach that point. And it would mean that the 2018 Broncos are dangerous.There are already some signs that that might be the case. The Broncos are the only team thatís been able to slow down the Chiefsí offense so far, being the only opponent to hold them under 30 points and forcing Patrick Mahomes to pull off some 4th quarter heroics to scratch and claw his way to victory. The 27 points the Chiefs mustered in Week 4 were 12 points shy of the 39 points per game pace theyíve averaged against their other 6 opponents. Similarly, the Broncos brought the Rams juggernaut down to near-mortality. The 23 points Sean McVayís crew scored against Denver are a full 10 points fewer than any other opponent has given up to LA this year and again 12 points lower than their average. What that means is that this is still a talented team: a team that, on a good day, can compete with literally any squad in the NFL and make them fight and claw and sweat their way to victory- if they can get it. Itís a flawed team http://www.thebroncosfootballauthentic.com/ronald-leary-jersey-authentic , certainly, but thereís still potential here and a victory in Kansas City would build an impressive head of momentum. The Bottom LineThe outcome this weekend will, in my opinion, very likely determine the course of the rest of the Broncosí season and the narrative that builds around the team in the second half of the 2018 campaign. If the Broncos lose, then a losing season, a high draft pick, and a rebuild are all likely in our future. But if the Broncos win, theyíll be back at .500 and very much alive in the conversation for a wildcard spot in the playoffs.While a win doesnít seem likely, it is indeed possible. But whatever the result of the game is, expect it to be a watershed moment for the 2018 Broncos.Horse TracksWhich NFL team is REALLY the worst in 2018? Letís decide. - SBNation.comThereís a garden variety of teams competing for the title of the NFLís worst.The New York Giants are tearing it all down. Hereís why thatís smart. - SBNation.comDave Gettelman is acknowledging reality and not trying to fix old mistakes. For a rebuild to work, though, he has to keep doing that.NFL trade deadline 2018: Rumor tracker - SBNation.comThe NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 30. Many big names have already been dealt, but there are plenty who could still be available.NFL picks 2018, Week 8: Experts see easy wins for Bears and Steelers - SBNation.comCanít miss picks for EVERY game this week.NFL Panic Index: What is wrong with the Eagles? - SBNation.comHow is this team 3-4? Also, the Bengals look broken, the Bills have a date with infamy, and the Ravens defense flopped.Brock Osweilerís best play with the Dolphins is a silly deflected pass - SBNation.comWILD DEFLECTIONS THAT MAKE NO SENSE! HE DID IT AGAIN!Texans video station. Dolphins: Officials were so bad the Internet had questions - SBNation.comHours after the NFL fired an official for the first time in the middle of a season during the Super Bowl era, refs made their presence known on Thursday night.NFL fires ref who missed easy call in Browns game. Thatís unprecedented - SBNation.comThe Cleveland Browns (sort of) got a referee fired.NFL picks against the spread: 3 best bets for Week 8 - SBNation.comRetired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz is eyeing a Minnesota Miracle rematch and a couple other key games this week.Watson's career night propels Texans past Dolphins - NFL.comHouston had few problems Thursday evening, as the Texans (5-3) extended their lead in the AFC South and their five-game streak with a 42-23 win over the visiting Dolphins (4-4) to kick off Week 8.Chiefs' potent offense leaving opponents 'drained' - NFL.comWe knew the Kansas City Chiefs' offense was good. But are the Chiefs so dominant that they can affect games they're not even playing in?2018 NFL trade deadline: One move for each NFC team to make - NFL.comJeremy Bergman identifies one move for each NFC team to make ahead of the 2018 NFL trade deadline -- and the Broncos are featured four times among the possibilities.Lawsuit seeks to remove trustees who control Broncos - NFL.comWilliam Bowlen, the brother of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, filed a lawsuit in a Colorado District Court on Thursday to remove the three-person trust in control of the team.Von Miller of Denver Broncos -- Halloween party not at issue in Chad Kelly arrestBroncos linebacker Von Miller, the host of a party that then-backup quarterback Chad Kelly attended before his arrest, says it was a "private" and "safe" gathering.



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Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:19 pm