NFL Writer Links 11-Year Veteran TE to Broncos

Broncos

Getty Tight end Kyle Rudolph looks on.

The Denver Broncos could be searching for another tight end after losing Noah Fant in the Russell Wilson trade. Albert Okwuegbunam has the potential to thrive as the team’s top tight end, but it would be ideal to add some more depth at the position.

At the moment, the upcoming NFL draft seems like the best option. Colorado State’s Trey McBride and Coastal Carolina’s Isaiah Likely are two appealing Day 2 prospects.

However, Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon linked the Broncos to a veteran free agent. Kenyon listed the Broncos as a landing spot for 11-year veteran Kyle Rudolph.

Entering his age-33 season, Kyle Rudolph is approaching the twilight of a successful NFL career. And the 2022 campaign might be his final chance for a true bounce-back year.

Since 2019, he’s managed just 93 catches for 958 yards and eight touchdowns. Rudolph played only 48 percent of offensive snaps with the New York Giants last season, dropping from his previous career-low mark of 72 percent on the Minnesota Vikings.

This is basically a make-or-break season for Rudolph’s value.

The Denver Broncos are a wise landing spot. They shipped Noah Fant to the Seattle Seahawks in the Russell Wilson trade, which creates an opportunity for Rudolph to earn regular snaps and catch passes from a top-tier quarterback.

Considering his recent performance, Rudolph could be a low-risk bargain for the Broncos.

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Rudolph Was One of the Most Productive Tight Ends of the 2010s

In his prime, Rudolph was one of the best tight ends in the NFC. Rudolph was not as dynamic as Jimmy Graham or Zach Ertz, but he was consistently reliable. From 2011 to 2019, Rudolph is tied with Antonio Gates for the third-most receiving touchdowns (47) among tight ends in the NFL.

In addition, Rudolph has played in 16 games in seven individual seasons.

Unfortunately, Rudolph’s production has declined over the past two years. He had only one receiving touchdown in each of the past two seasons.

To be fair, Rudolph was not put in the best position to succeed with the New York Giants last season. The Giants’ passing offense struggled as a whole, as they had the second-fewest passing yards in the NFL last season.

There is an argument that he could be a productive option in a better situation. He is still an appealing red zone target. He stands at 6’6″, and he has not dropped a pass in three years.

He is worth a flier on a one-year deal.


The Broncos Are ‘High’ on Okwuegbunam

Even if the Broncos do sign another tight end, Okwuegbunam should open the season as the number one tight end on the depth chart.

Broncos general manager George Paton said the Broncos are “really high” on Okwuegbunam.

Albert has everything you want in a tight end. He’s big, he’s athletic and he’s strong. He needs to work on his blocking a little bit, but he’s a mismatch type of guy that I know Coach Hackett really values. We’re really high on Albert.

Last season, Okwuegbunam showed promise in his limited role. He hauled in 33 out of his 40 targets for 330 yards and two touchdowns. With Russell Wilson at quarterback, Okwuegbunam is primed for a breakout season.

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