Name: Virgil Green
Height: 6'5" Weight: 255 lbs
Age: 28 Experience: 7th
Virgil Green was a 7th round draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Coming out of college he was considered one of the top prospects at tight end for that year with impressive measurables including the best broad jump and vertical jump of the TEs coming out at that time.
His story so far has been one of untapped potential at least on the surface. While he was used to great success in the passing game in college (with Kaepernick throwing him the rock no less), that success has never truly translated to the NFL.
Let’s dig in and look at what he does and doesn’t bring to the table for the Broncos in 2017.
His blocking is very impressive. It is what earned him a new contract with the Broncos and is an area he’s excelled in since very early in his career. He has the size, strength, and proper technique to be a real asset in the blocking game and to assist with pass blocking on the edges where needed.
He’s also got good hands on those rare occasions where the QB decides to toss him the rock though in a small sample size he wasn’t great in 2016 (dropped 2 of 37 targets).
The real problem with Virgil Green is his lack of big impact in the passing game. I honestly feel like this criticism is completely fair for him even given the woeful use of the TE position by the Broncos in 2016.
He doesn’t seem to have the 2nd gear needed to create good separation in the NFL. I’ve watched his route running for years and have never really found complaint with it as he seems consistent and clean in what he does in the open field. I just don’t see that he has the quicks or straight-line speed needed to be a real threat in the passing game.
On this year’s new offense:
“I love it. I was in the system earlier on, so there was a lot of carryover. Obviously, I still have a lot of learning to do, but we’re out there making a lot of plays in OTAs. We’re excited about where things are going.”
I honestly think Green’s place on the Broncos is far from secure. If he’s cut this year, it frees up a significant amount of cap room. Also, McCoy’s offense likes using tight ends that cause match-up problems in the passing game and that’s not a statement I’m comfortable saying about Green based off what we’ve seen in the past few years from him.
I do think his versatility added with his very strong blocking game makes him a piece that a coach like McCoy can easily make a case for keeping. That being said, the Broncos offense needs a kick start and they will likely find it in other places on the roster. If he makes the team it will be as a solid player farther down the depth chart.