Broncos TEs Albert Okwuegbunam, Greg Dulcich could help replace Tim Patrick on offense


Tim Patrick’s season-ending knee injury has the Denver Broncos looking for ways to replace the production of big receivers.

Denver has an excellent wide receiver trio that Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and KJ Hamler can rely on, but it will miss out on Patrick’s performance in the red zone.

Over the past three seasons, Patrick has completed eight red-zone touchdowns — tied with former tight end Noah Fant for most teams in that span.

Sutton’s size could help fill that void, but Patrick’s injury will also do more for tight end Albert Ockwig Burnham and third-rounder Greg Dulcic Work.

Coach Nathaniel Hackett said the Broncos will need TE to fill the void.

“[They’re] It has to be,” he said. Via the team’s official website. “Flip it, obviously very frustrated [Patrick’s] Not here, but now someone has a chance to stand up. Especially in the red zone, there’s a chance to make some touchdowns, take advantage of some different guys, and that’s what we have to do. In that field, you always want everyone to have to cover the whole field…and all the skilled people. It will be exciting to see who will come forward. Someone will have to do it. “

Dulcich pushed Al O to a TE1 role earlier this offseason before getting injured. After Patrick’s injury, the rookie could play a more important role as a receiver.

“There are a lot of guys, and not only are they big, but those guys can run,” Hackett said. “You’ve seen it a few times, looking at those guys… get Dulcich back, [him] Slowly getting back to work, watching Albert run, [Eric] Sobert runs, [Andrew] Baker ran well. Whenever you have the kind of fluid player who can take advantage of the opponent’s game at the free throw line and at the block while stretching the court vertically, you get really excited. “

Patrick is also seen as an option for a “big slot” role in Hackett’s offense, a job that needs to be filled now. The Broncos can use their first two tight ends to fill those gaps, splitting into slots, especially in the red zone.

“I think … one of the strengths of this offense, especially in the tight end, is being able to put us anywhere,” Okwuegbunam said. “When you pit me against linebackers, I’m faster than him. When you pit me against DB, I’m bigger than him. I think that’s where this mismatch is directly created.”

Patrick’s injury was a brutal blow to the Broncos early in training camp. But they have time to adjust. Moving tight ends around formations is a way for Hackett to milk from large objects that are one of the biggest red zone threats on the shelf in 2022.



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