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2019 Broncos roster review: Tight end Troy Fumagalli

Tory Fumagalli is a name to watch this summer during Denver Broncos training camp.

NCAA Football: Iowa at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos selected former Wisconsin tight end Troy Fumagalli in the 5th round, pick 156 of the 2018 NFL Draft. He was expected to contribute early as a rookie for the Broncos but injuries quickly derailed his season with the team. Fumagalli was dealing with a sports hernia injury that limited him for the majority of camp and eventually got him placed on the season-ending injury list at final cuts.

Now he is entering the 2019 season looking to rebound from a lost rookie year in an offense that utilizes the tight ends in the passing game.

Troy Fumagalli Profile

Height: 6-5

Weight: 247 pounds

Age: 24 years old

Experience: 2nd season

Tight end Troy Fumagalli played four productive seasons at Wisconsin and put up some solid numbers during his time there. During his four-year career, Fumagalli totaled 135 receptions for 1,627 yards and 7 touchdowns. During his final year at Wisconsin, Fumagalli totaled 46 receptions for 547 yards and 4 touchdowns.

This production earned him an invite to the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl where the Broncos were coaching, so they had a chance to see his talents up close and personal. He eventually was drafted by the Broncos in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

As I have already stated, Fumagalli ended up missing the 2018 season because of a sports hernia injury. This was a costly injury for the Broncos and Fumagalli because he would have likely earned crucial snaps and playing time because of injuries to the other Broncos tight ends. Unfortunately, that never happened and now he will need to impress a new coaching staff this offseason to earn a roster spot.

Well, the early indications from OTA’s and minicamp are that Fumagalli is indeed turning some heads so far. He is what’s Andrew Mason had to say about Fumagalli after mandatory minicamp concluded.

Until a dropped pass this week, the second-year tight end caught everything thrown his way during the open-to-media practices. Fumagalli flourished at finding vacant areas within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, and Flacco found him for a series of solid pickups.

The short-area route-running evoked memories of fellow Wisconsin product Owen Daniels, who played with Joe Flacco in 2014 in Baltimore and operated in a similar scheme with the Ravens that year and Denver one year later.

Fumagalli used his rookie season to recover from a sports hernia, but as he rehabilitated, he hit the weight room. He said that he added 10 pounds over the course of the regular season. In the long term, Fumagalli could offer a physical complement as an in-line tight end to Fant.

Multiple tight end’s will be utilized in Rich Scangarello’s offensive scheme so Fumagalli has a chance to earn himself a productive role in this offense.

The good

Newly hired Head Coach Vic Fangio doesn’t hand out compliments very often and when he does, you listen. That is exactly what happened a few weeks ago after practice when he was asked about how Fumagalli was doing. He told reporters that he was doing good and that he “surpassed some of our expectations already”.

“Good. I think all the tight ends have done well and I think Troy has surpassed some of our expectations already—that’s without pads on. We’ll see when the pads come on, but I think he’s doing well overall.”

Again, Fangio doesn’t hand out compliments without some merit, so this has to be exciting news for Broncos fans.

Also, the offensive system being implemented by Offensive Coordinator Rich Scangarello should fit Fumagalli’s strengths. He’s a talented pass-catching tight end who has experience lining up in the slot and as an in-line tight end so I am sure he can find a role in this offense. He also played in a run-heavy offense at Wisconsin so this offense should also be familiar to him as well.

Finally, you have to factor in the injury history of his teammates likely currently ahead of him on the depth chart. Jeff Heuerman who could be your week one starter has a lengthy injury history and that could creep up on him at some point during this summer/regular season. Also, you have Jake Butt coming off his third ACL injury which likely will be tough to come back from. So the road is there for Fumagalli to earn a big role in this offense.

The bad

Fumagalli is missing his right index finger and only has 9 fingers. This was something brought up as a concern during the pre-draft process with him. However, he has shown to have strong and reliable hands throughout his college career and thus far with the Broncos so I am not overly concerned about it.

The addition of 2019 first-round pick Noah Fant is a bit of a blow for any tight end currently on the roster bubble because you know he is guaranteed a roster spot. So you have a bunch of talented players fighting for either two or three roster spots. This means Fumagalli has to be productive and stay healthy this summer if he wants to continue the momentum he has built up this spring.


Broncos Offensive Coordinator Rich Scangarello on how tight end Troy Fumagalli is coming along in the offense thus far.

“He’s doing great. Again, he was an unknown. No film on him. It’s hard to see what you have before you get here. He’s done a great job like a lot of guys we’re excited about. He works very hard at it. He has the right attitude. He’s competitive and he’s versatile. We’ll see where that takes him, but we’re excited to have him. He’s doing a good job.”

Troy Fumagalli highlights

Troy Fumagalli’s roster status with the Broncos

Fumagalli is certainly on the roster bubble as we near the start of Training Camp.

If you had to ask me right now, I would say that Fumagalli makes the Broncos 53-man roster. I believe they could keep up to 4 tight ends so he should be good if he stays healthy. Especially with injury prone guys like Heuerman and Butt ahead of him.

Now with that said, if they end up keeping three tight ends, it will likely be between him and Butt. Fant is obviously a lock and Heuerman just signed a two-year deal and is currently the only veteran tight end on the roster so he is likely safe as well. So Fumagalli remains on the roster bubble either way.

In the end, if he continues to impress and stay healthy I believe it will all work out well for him going forward.


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