Broncos Tease Intriguing New Role for Albert Okwuegbunam After Noah Fant Trade

Devon Platana
The Denver Broncos are teasing an intriguing new role for TE Albert Okwuegbunam after the Noah Fant trade.
The Denver Broncos are teasing an intriguing new role for TE Albert Okwuegbunam after the Noah Fant trade. / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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The Denver Broncos have been one of the busier teams this NFL offseason, reshaping their offense by bringing in Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks earlier this month.

Starting tight end Noah Fant was one of the pieces going to the Seahawks in the trade, leaving Albert Okwuegbunam at the top of Denver's depth chart. Fortunately, the Broncos already have an exciting new role lined up for the 23-year-old TE.

Denver Broncos News

Newly-hired head coach Nathaniel Hackett told reporters Monday that he plans on making Okwuegbunam a "move tight end" who'll operate more in a pass-catching role. Hackett further added that, even if that's the case, he still wants to improve the tight end's blocking.

"[Okwuegbunam] is going to be more of a receiver right now, so we want to train him in blocking so that he can be right there next to [Eric] Tomlinson. So he's going to be a guy that we slowly develop."

Nathaniel Hackett

Okwuegbunam's usage increased during his sophomore season, going from playing 31% of offensive snaps in 2020 to 47% in 2021. The uptick in playing time resulted in him setting news highs in receptions (33), receiving yards (330) and touchdowns (two).

Okwuegbunam was also impressive due to his reliability last season, catching 82.5% of his targets. Hackett also made note of the 6-foot-5 tight end's impressive speed, which he highlighted in an example of a 64-yard play Okwuegbunam had against the Philadelphia Eagles last season.

Fant saw 90 targets for 63 receptions, 670 yards and four touchdowns in 2021, so there's already plenty of potential for Okwuegbunam to see a bigger workload. The Broncos did sign TE Eric Tomlinson this offseason, but he's primarily a blocker and shouldn't be a threat to the former's offensive totals.

Okwuegbunam reaching his potential in 2022 would go a long way towards the Broncos' championship expectations. As it stands, FanDuel Sportsbook is currently giving Denver +1500 odds (T-No. 6) to win Super Bowl LVII in 2023.

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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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