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Austin Traylor could be in the mix for the No. 2 tight end spot next season

The Denver Broncos may have found a player to fill the role Virgil Green had for the last several years.

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NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Traylor was promoted to the active roster from the practice squad by the Denver Broncos in the middle of the season as the team desperately searched for a security blanket that Trevor Siemian could look for, but he wasn’t able to get on the field until Siemian was benched in favor of Brock Osweiler.

Osweiler immediately looked Traylor’s way as the tight end caught five passes for 70 yards in his first two games. From there, Siemian was inserted back into the lineup and Traylor’s impact on the offense evaporated.

Austin Traylor 2017 Stats

Games Receptions Yards Y/R TD
Games Receptions Yards Y/R TD
7 8 100 12.5 0

Austin Traylor PFF Grade

According to Pro Footbll Focus, Traylor finished with a respectable 69.9 overall grade. That was a marked improvement over Virgil Green who posted a season grade of 43.1 and only slightly lower than the best overall graded tight on the roster in Jeff Heuerman who posted a 73.6 grade.

Austin Traylor Contract

The Broncos have a young tight end that was able to come in and contribute more than the veterans ahead of him on the depth chart. That makes me think he has a role to play on the roster as solid depth at this position. The contract is cheap and it will hurt nothing to keep him through 2018.

2018 Status

With Virgil Green’s contract having run its course and his play having significantly deteriorated this year, Traylor is the perfect player to take over what was Green’s role on this team. I would expect them to bring Jake Butt along for a much larger role in the passing game, but that doesn’t mean they won’t need a solid blocking tight end like Traylor in for short yardage situations - especially given his ability to make some big catches now and then.