Throughout the offseason, we’ll be profiling players who may end up in Denver when all is said and done with the 2017 NFL Draft. The Broncos clearly have plenty of holes to fill before they get back to Super-Bowl form and we’ll be examining a long list of players they may choose to help the franchise do just that.
The Broncos have been in need of tight end help since the departure of Julius Thomas and have been lacking options over the middle of the field in general. With some young talent in house, Denver doesn’t need to blindly add tight ends, but more explosiveness and receiving options over the middle is a must.
After having featured Alabama’s O.J. Howard, a known commodity in the scouting community for years it’s time to look at one of the most intriguing tight ends in the 2017 NFL Draft, a player who has seemingly emerged out of nowhere. Miami’s David Njoku is only a junior with limited experience and a raw skill set, but it’s that still-unpolished talent that has the NFL world buzzing.
Not as big as Howard at 6-foot-4 and 245-pounds, Njoku is a smooth mover with a chiseled frame and powerful lower body. The former Hurricane shows impressive burst and speed for the position in addition to some rare athleticism. Whether it’s turning a short pass into a long run, dominating a defensive back in the end zone on a contested catch, or leaping over defenders to gain extra yardage, Njoku consistently amazes for his athletic feats. Giving him the upside of a high-end NFL player.
The Miami tight end has shined as a red-zone option, scoring eight touchdowns in 2016 while using his length, burst, and power to his advantage. Njoku could be a big get for the Broncos who need to improve in capitalizing on red-zone opportunities.
Not the biggest, Njoku won’t ever be a Rob Gronkowski type blocker who can dominate opposing defenders in the run game. With that being said, he’s shown some upside as a blocker, and his muscular lower half suggests there’s room for growth.
Njoku is also raw and will need to be developed in several aspects of his game, most notably route running and blocking; he also needs to eliminate some drops. The Miami product could be a special NFL tight end, but as of now, there’s a lot more projection than actual pro-ready skill. His selection would undoubtedly be a gamble on upside.
How he fits in Denver
Njoku instantly would become the Broncos most dangerous option in the slot and would form an imposing pair with Demaryius Thomas as far as red-zone targets go. His athleticism would make him an instant matchup issue for opposing defenses in the receiving game.
In his first season, he could be used in a similar way to how Mike McCoy used Hunter Henry in San Diego last season.