As the regular season approaches, we wanted to take an individual look at each of the Denver Broncos 2017 Draft Choices and how they’ve performed in camp.
With the 156th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected Wisconsin tight end Troy Fumagalli. How has Fumagalli performed in preseason and camp?
Fumagalli is our first bubble player from the draft. After missing Organized Team Activities and minicamp with a sports hernia, he’s facing an uphill battle to make the roster.
At tight end, a position that has dogged the Broncos since seeing recently retired Julius Thomas depart the Orange and Blue after the the 2014 season. A season in which the standout player had 43 receptions and 12 touchdowns. Jeff Heuerman is Denver’s career leader in receptions at the position with 18, so the deficiency is glaring.
With Heuerman and soph Jake Butt all but assured to make the roster, that leaves just one spot, assuming the Broncos retain three tight ends. Austin Traylor, Matt LaCosse and Brian Parker may all be in better position to make the roster than Fumagalli but Denver remains high on Troy’s ability as a possession and YAC darling. Again, it could be that Fumagalli’s best shot at staying in Denver is the practice squad.
Chances are fair-to-good that Troy would clear waivers, allowing Denver to add him to the practice squad. With a season to study and work on his physical conditioning and strength he could have an Austin Traylor-like pathway to next year’s roster.
It’s refreshing to have such problems, depth at tight-end has been an ongoing issue for the Broncos and whichever of this pool gets that final spot is going to have the potential to be a quality NFL player.
Looking back to 2010, the New England Patriots spent a late second-round pick on a big, slow, unproven tight end from Arizona. Eight years later, Rob Gronkowski is among the most celebrated players to have played the position. Maybe Troy Fumagalli has a similar story in him.
If so, let’s hope that story plays out in a Denver uniform.