2016 NFL Draft Denver Broncos Scheme related positional review: TE


2016 NFL Draft TE class evaluation:

Not a class to be over enthusiastic for athletic skills but, for what the Broncos like on this position, there will be a lot of opportunities in each round, apart the 1st. Not as bad as national media pictured to be.

What the Broncos look for:

Size, physicality, pass catching skills, blocking skills, route running, speed.

Type of player the Broncos look for:

Physical prospect that can play three downs: pass catcher, powerful and athletic. Blocking skills are an asset to become a Broncos TE.

Best prospects related to team scheme and required skills

  1. Hunter Henry (Arkansas, Jr, 6’5”, 250 lbs): Best prospect related to scheme and skills required.
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
2nd 2nd

General Overview: great size. Has some speed and knows how to get open and make the catch. Not the kind of receiver Gronkowski is, but an all around very good prospect. Does some good job blocking on the line of scrimmage and on the run. Looks powerful and has some good athleticism for a guy of his size.

My Broncos Evaluation: he could also fall to the 3rd round but won’t make it until Denver first pick there. So if he’s still on the Board when the Broncos select in the 2nd round they might very well pull the trigger: he’s perfect for Kubiak scheme and how Kubiak uses TEs. He played a similar scheme in 2015 at Arkansas and he excelled. He does not have blazing speed but he’ s as solid as it gets at blocking at college level and the Broncos will gain by adding TEs to the roster. I will really like this selection in the 2nd round.

  1. Tyler Higbee (Western Kentucky, rSr, 6’6”, 249 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
4th 6th 7th

General Overview: complete TE with great size that lacks elite quickness and speed. Has good strength and power but could get better functional strength. Good catcher, has good body balance and concentration.

My Broncos Evaluation: I do like what I saw in his videos but I do understand that is actual limitations could really haunt him in the NFL where everybody is faster and more powerful. He will have to work on his functional strength so that he could be stronger and more accurate in his movements. He could be a real nice findings, maybe not a five time pro bowler but a very useful piece in Kubiak offense. UPDATE April 13th: He was arrested. The Broncos might erase him from their board or downgrade their grade. I’m going with the latter and make him a late round pick because of possible character concerns. Plus he needs to have a Combine Re-Check for a knee situation.

  1. Jake McGee (Florida, rSr, 6’5”, 250 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
7th – CFA 5th – 6th

General Overview: Great size. Has some speed and is a good catcher thanks to a very good athleticism for a guy of his size. Meanwhile he has more trouble in the blocking department, he will need to become more powerful and will have to learn blocking technique on the move to not lose his assignment.

My Broncos Evaluation: I do like what I saw in his videos. He’s a good pass catcher that has to get better at blocking but don’t shy away from. Maybe he does not have the highest potential but he could be really productive in an offense as Kubiak’s one where for TEs is so important to be steady and that they can both catch and block.

  1. David Morgan II (Texas-San Antonio, Sr, 6’4”, 262 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
6th 6th

General Overview: great size, uses well his body to defend himself while catching the ball. Lacks burst and quickness does not have elite speed by any means but blocks well, he has strength and power. Could add some functional strength. He will be mainly a blocking TE in the NFL because of his lack of quickness but will have some catches too because he shows very good body balance for a guy of his size.

My Broncos Evaluation: I like what he brings on the field in terms of intensity and blue collar approach. Denver FO looks to love this kind of players. He’ll be mainly a blocking TE but with his style of play, he could be a big play target from time to time. He’ll need to develop his functional strength and adapt to NFL speed and power and it could take time.

  1. Dillon Gordon (LSU, rSr, 6’5”, 308 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
CFA 7th – CFA

General Overview: great size. Very good blocker. He was actually an extra lineman at the LOS for LSU. Has exceptional athletic skills for a guy of his size and weight: he turns and run, accelerate: incredible. Add to it some insane speed for a 308 pounds person and the ability to catch the ball….

My Broncos Evaluation: the draft selection would be used to get this prospect out of a sure bidding war at CFA. I don’t know about red flag on him, and it has been complicate to find any kind of news about his draft status actually, I would think that his athletic skills could allow him to become, behind the right teaching, a very good NFL T or G. Now it isn’t that any huge NCAAF blocking TE is a sure thing in converting to OLineman, but to some degree, with the right mindset of the player and the right coaching and patience from the team FO, the Broncos could strike gold with him.

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