If I was surprised when the Denver Broncos have spent their choice of fourth round – no. 118 in total – on one end is tight, imagine how the player himself feels. TE Albert Okwuegbunam, having raced a dash of 4.49 seconds of 40 yards at the Combine, and the production at a high level for four seasons at Missouri, has heard his name called on the day of the draft, but not necessarily by the team he expected.
Okwuegbunam was surprised that the Broncos have drafted at least a little bit. The chances that he lands with his college primary QB Drew Lock – seemed thin to Albert O. this is what we know thanks to a virtual sit-down with Mike Klis of KUSA had with the Broncos rookie TE.
“A little bit surprised because I found myself with Drew,” said Okwuegbunam to Klis. One chance in 32 that to happen. A little surprised there.
The presence of a Lock on the alignment was not the only reason Okweugbunam was surprised that the Broncos have chosen. The fact that Denver has not only been an owner a year removed from being a first-round, in addition to the littany of former choice in the draft on the table a depth of TE, it seemed that the chances are slim that he would have landed in the Mile High City.
“l there is already a lot of talent in this room to end tight, Okwuegbunam said Klis. “I look forward to facing a skilled player like Noah. Just competing against each other and improve each other.
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I was surprised for all the same reasons – a true blocking TE and the presence of Children and the excitement of the team for what he produced as a rookie in 2019. But the Broncos saw an opportunity to increase the strength of a team not only because of the skill set unique Okwuegbunam and athletics, but because of his link, and tie with Lock.
In fact, before turning in the project map virtual, so to say, GM John Elway has picked up the phone and called the Lock to get the 411 on his former team-mate of the university.
“With Albert O., we really felt — the first phone call that we passed today, Vic and I have done — was Drew to learn more about Albert and see what he thought of him because he had a much better junior year when Drew was there last year. “said Elway in his presser post-project immediately after the third day of the draft.” e wanted to know and get the inside on him. Drew actually loved her and gave her praise and thought he was a guy who could come here and help us and spoke of how he could really, really run, but he had a bad year last year.
If you really want a window on the logic of football Elway and the brass front-office had in regards Okwuegbunam, just listen to the rookie describe what makes him such a single offset for the opponents.
“If you want to put a linebacker on me to match my height, I’m faster than him,” Albert O. says Klis. And if you want me to put a DB to match my speed, then I’ll be taller than him. So, I feel like with my mentality in the red zone, when the ball is in the air it is mine. I am going to see. This mentality with my physical attributes, I just have the feeling of creating a global drift.
Lock and Okwuegbunam are connected for many touchdowns, in particular, the routes of the corner in the red zone, in the course of their years together at Mizzou. Although the rookie has a long row to hoe before becoming a factor in the attack of the Broncos, the team’s brass hopes that the duo can rekindle that chemistry in the Orange and Blue.
It is interesting to hear Okwuegbunam predict its future competition with Fant, however. Fant ran a 40-second 40 and the fans were able to see this explosion of elite (for a TE), and track and field with the ball in his hands. Now, imagine the Broncos with two of these types.
It is an embarrassment of riches. And whoever the new OC Pat Shurmur will have to reckon with when the time comes. The schema of Shurmur not traditionally used as a TE on the field at once, outside of the specific situations of short-yardage and red-zone.
But if Okwuegbunam can develop quickly and at least get his chops blocking to a level where it is at least plausible that the Broncos could call a race when he is on the field, it could require Shurmur to find ways to put it on the ground with Fant.
There are suddenly a lot of mouths to feed from the attack of the Broncos, however. Courtland Sutton is coming to a Pro Bowl, and the Broncos just drafted Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, which has caused ex-NFL star wideout Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson to proclaim that Denver has ” three receivers no. 1 – a spectacle of six-time Pro Bowler has never seen.
Add a duo of pro bowl running back Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon, and the part of the key decreases even further. It is not difficult to catch the vision that Elway and head coach Vic Fangio have for this offence.
It is the responsibility of Shurmur and Lock to find a way to make as much hay as possible while the Gods of football to send this sun offensive on the shoulders of the Broncos. It will be fun to see how it all takes shape.