Denver Broncos Sign Homegrown Tight End, Former Patriots Draft Pick

Denver Broncos Fans

Getty Denver Broncos fans cheer for their team at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium.

For Colorado sports fans, it’s usually pretty exciting to see a homegrown product playing professionally in the Centennial State. That’s exactly what has happened to former Chatfield High School star Dalton Keene.

The Denver Broncos picked up the former New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles tight end to the practice squad on October 15, per the team’s official website. Keene grew up in Littleton, Colorado where he was an All-State senior for Chatfield. During his prep days, Dalton played running back and middle linebacker. He also ran for the track team. During his senior season, he finished with 1,175 yards on the ground and 18 touchdowns.

Keene’s Colorado prep success led him to accept an offer to play at Virginia Tech. Keene played for the Hokies as a true freshman catching 10 passes for 167 yards that year. A big junior season would lead him to make the decision of foregoing his final year of collegiate eligibility and entering the 2020 NFL draft. Dalton was selected as the third round’s 101st pick overall by the New England Patriots.

Injuries Have Kept Keene on the Sideline

Keene’s career got off to a start that neither he, nor New England, was hoping for. A knee injury has forced Dalton to see very limited action so far. Keene saw action in six games, catching three passes 16 yards. In September 2022, Dalton was briefly signed to the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad but was released less than a month later. He has not seen game action since the 2020 season.

While Dalton will be a welcome addition to Denver’s practice squad, making the 53-man roster will likely be a tough ask. Denver boasts a pool of tight ends including Eric Saubert, Albert Okwuegbunam, Eric Tomlinson and Andrew Beck.

More Broncos Roster Moves in Week 6

As Denver hopes to take advantage of a few extra practice days this week, there have been several roster moves as well. Here’s a look at some of the moves from the last seven days;

  • Signed WR Kendall Hinton to the active roster from the practice squad.-
  • Placed LS Jacob Bobenmoyer, T Garett Bolles and CB Ronald Darby on injured reserve.
  • Signed LB Harvey Langi to the practice squad.
  • Released TE Dominique Dafney from the practice squad.
  • Signed LS Mitchell Fraboni and WR Trinity Benson to the practice squad.
  • Signed LS Joe Fortunato to the practice squad.
  • Signed TE Dalton Keene to the practice squad.
  • Released LS Joe Fortunato from the practice squad.

Denver has been forced to adapt early this season with several injuries and continues to lead the league in salary cap dollars that are going to athletes on the injured reserve list.

Week 6 will put the team on the national stage once again as they prepare for an AFC West contest against the Los Angeles Chargers. In preparation for the divisional game, Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley said he believes that the Broncos are still a “very dangerous” team despite their slow start. Citing injuries and “growing pains,” he said that the Broncos still have many weapons and could, “easily be 5-0.”

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