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Offensive No Bull Positional Review: Tight Ends

Denver Broncos offseason positional review discussing what the team has based off of 2015 production of players on the team. We'll review stats, eye-test opinion, contract situation, and depth on the Denver Bronco team as we prepare for the start of free agency and the NFL draft.

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Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

I'm breaking down our team to look at what we have in the cupboard for this offseason. In doing so, I've gathered a bunch of data from and to give us some stats to look at as we evaluate what our players did in the 2015 regular season. Also, contract info will be embedded when available. I'll add to that a synopsis of each player including their contract situation. Hopefully this helps Broncos Country here at MHR be better educated on the state of the team.

The final group for us to take a peek at is a very thin one: Tight Ends. We have Virgil Green returning from last year as the only known quantity at the position. We have a young rookie stud in Jeff Heuerman and a couple of depth guys who may be able to carve out a spot for themselves in training camp.

What we do know about the Kubiak offense is that he likes to use tight ends quite a bit by creating single coverage mismatches. This is a valuable position to our team's success and one we're likely to see bolstered in the draft.


Name Overall Pass Pass Block Run Block Rec. Yds TD
Virgil Green 1.5 2.6 1 -3.4 12 173 1

Virgil Green

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Virgil Green has had years of playing in the shadow of other tight ends who block less well than he does. I really dig this kid's game and think he should be allowed more opportunity to catch the rock unless someone else really blows our socks off.

The big weakness I see in Virgil's game is a lack of straight-away speed. He runs good crisp routes, but he doesn't get separation well in a straight line. I'm not really of the mind that this is going to change. The only way to really get him to have quicker jets is to have him lose bulk and that would mess with his game too much. He can stick to the shorter side of the route tree though and have big success from what I've seen.

His blocking is tremendously good. He showed some shaky blocks last year early on as he adjusted to the new scheme, but he's a guy who can put his hat on a guy and win, he's also a guy who can get to the 2nd level and devastate some poor fool in the run game.

Contract Info:

Green is locked up for another two years and is in position to earn a bigger contract. He's honestly a great player at the price we pay him and is in a good situation for himself to create a bigger role moving forward.

Jeff Heuerman

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Here's our future if you believe all the hype we've heard in the past year or so about Jeff Heuerman. I'm excited to see what he can actually do because at this point, I don't know.

The big concern here is the injury bug. Can he stay healthy and contribute? What impact did his injury last year have on his abilities?

I have great faith in the medical team of the Broncos and their ability to help players rehabilitate and get back to prime shape (see CHJ and Von Miller). The only thing bugging me is that this unknown's name is thrown about like an answer when we talk about tight end depth and he has yet to see a meaningful NFL snap.

That being said, I'm hopeful to see another great talent at the TE position for us. We really lacked one last year and I think it is a tool that could help open up our offense.

Contract Info:

There's not much to hate here honestly. We could take two years to rehab this guy if it was necessary and it would still be worth the risk of keeping him. Don't we all love that rookie wage scale?


Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Gordon joined us last year late in the season. He saw action in one game for us and I can't honestly recall a darn thing about it nor did his name show up in my notes via a quick search.

What I read about him though says he's more of a blocking tight end than a guy you want out in passing routes. While most in the NFL think that is very passe count me as a guy who still thinks this type of player brings a significant benefit to the offensive table in the right offense.

We'll see more this training camp what Gordon can do to help out our tight end corps. I know we'll all be cheering for him as he dons our beloved orange and blue to take the field.

Contract Info:

This is a typical low risk contract for a depth player who the coaches think may be able to do something to help the team if they develop properly. We'll see what an off season can do with his game.

Position Overview

Honestly this is a unit that I see us targeting in this year's NFL draft. We need a better pass catching option than what we had last year and I'd honestly like to see two guys on the roster who can do damage in the passing game.

I will point out that as far as blocking tight ends go, we have good options here with Green and Gordon. We all know the versatility Green brings is just outstanding. Gordon I think can help be a piece of the rushing game puzzle in 12 or 22 to help guarantee short yardage pickups.

The final benefit I'll point out is that currently this unit is one of the cheapest on the team on a per-player basis. Maybe something should be said about "You get what you pay for."