The Denver Broncos traded for tight end Adam Trautman on April 29, and according to head coach Sean Payton, it was with a “clear vision” for the former New Orleans Saint’s role in the Mile High City.
“We comped him to a handful of the tight ends that we were discussing in this draft,” Payton said to reporters on April 29. “We drafted Adam in the third round, and ironically we were comping him to a few of the other third-round players. He’s clean, great makeup, great character. So we felt this was one of the needs for us coming in, we couldn’t force that, so when we passed that little area, or sweet spot of tight ends, having drafted another player yesterday, this came up and we felt really like, it’s flipping picks and all of a sudden getting a player that we have a clear vision for.”
Payton believes the acquisition of Juwan Johnson caused New Orleans to rethink their own long-term plans for Trautman.
“I think part of that became available because New Orleans, they were able to sign a tight end, and I’m sure they were looking at the long-term plans with Adam,” Payton said.
Sean Payton Explains Skillset of New Denver Broncos TE
Payton explained Trautman’s skillset to the Denver Broncos’ in-house reporter Aric DiLalla given the former Saints’ coach scouting and draft selection.
“We drafted Adam out of Dayton,” Payton said. “He played for us for two years. In describing the player, he’s that versatile tight end that can play the ‘F’ [receiving] tight end. He played a lot, most recently, on the ball. Generally when you draft a tight end out of college, they do one thing better than the other. Blocker first, then [catching]. When we drafted Adam, we felt like he was kind of one of those guys that was solid in both areas. We utilized him [in New Orleans] depending on who was up and who was down, who was healthy — both in-line and at the ‘F’ position.”
Payton told reporters that Trautman “was something (the Broncos) were looking for.”
Denver Broncos Won’t Determine Starter at TE Right Now
As Payton laid out, the Denver Broncos are nowhere close to naming a starter at the tight end position following acquisitions from the undrafted free agent pool (Kent State’s Kris Leach, South Carolina’s Nate Adkins), the free agent market (Chris Manhertz) and now by trade (Trautman).
“We would never sit in here in April and lay out who we think (will start),” Payton said. “I have no idea how that’s going to unfold, but I know we have more options to see how it unfolds, as opposed to penciling in starting lineups.”
Payton then shared his relief with not having to “reach” for a tight end with an unproven draft option.
“We knew we felt like we needed this versatile tight end that could block and have some ability to catch, and we were lucky really that we didn’t have to draft it,” Payton said. “We weren’t able to … and the mistake, then, is you create it and reach for it in the draft. We didn’t have to do it.”