In the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected UCLA tight end Greg Dulcich with their 80th overall selection in the draft. This was their second selection of the draft and one that both general manager George Paton and head coach Nathaniel Hackett were excited to make.
“When you have a guy that can stretch the field like he can, it’s really exciting,” Hackett said after the team drafted Dulcich, “From all of the stuff—It’s not just the intermediate stuff...the ability to strain and block in the run game. I think he showed a lot of stuff.”
He’s a 6’4”, 243-pound tight end who was considered one of the best, if not the best tight ends in the entire draft class. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler had Dulcich ranked as his second-best tight end and his 80th overall prospect in general in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Dulcich played a total of four seasons at UCLA and turned into one of the best tight ends in the country during his time there. During his four seasons, Dulcich totaled 77 receptions for 1,353 yards and 11 touchdowns. This past season, he had 42 receptions for 725 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Tight End | Greg Dulcich | Broncos
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 243 pounds | 40-time: 4.69 seconds
Bench Press: 16 reps | Vertical Jump: 34 inches | Broad Jump: 122 inches
3-Cone Drill: 7.05 seconds | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.37 seconds
How Greg Dulcich fits with the Broncos?
Dulcich joins a tight end group that is pretty wide open after the Broncos traded away Noah Fant in the Russell Wilson trade. Albert O. is expected to be the starter, but even he needs to make a jump and prove himself before he can reach that. So, Dulcich joins an offense where he could potentially push for the starting job.
His instant impact is in the passing game. He’s a field stretcher which adds an extra dynamic to a Broncos offense that figures to be an explosive offense in 2022 with Russell Wilson under center.
Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett was asked what role he envisions Dulcich having in 2022 and he answered that “he’s a guy you want out there”.
“I think everybody is up for competition. I think that’s so important. We want the best guys out there as much as possible. I definitely have a great feel that he’s going to be able to come in here and contribute. I think that’s what you’re asking for as he earns his way onto the field. We’ll see where that goes. Like we said before, he’s a threat down the field, and he’s a guy that you want out there. We’ll what happens.”
Dulcich’s explosive ability will get him on the field one way or another, but if he wants to be a starter, he will need to improve his blocking ability. With that said, Coach Hackett doesn’t seem too worried about Dulcich making those improvements moving forward.
Yeah, I think everybody once you get to this league and you’re blocking some dynamic football players, they always can get a lot better. I think the good thing about him is the type of person he is. He was a walk-on when he got there, and he fought his way into the tight end room and was very effective. I don’t think he’s afraid of any bit of hard work, and he’s a great man. That’s why I’m excited to have him.”
His strong work ethic paired with his explosive ability as a receiver gives Dulcich a good shot at becoming an instant impact player for the Broncos this upcoming season. Sure, rookie tight ends take time to make that transition, but I think we will see Dulcich early and often in the Broncos' offense.
Greg Dulcich was drafted with pick 80 of round 3 in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 8.25 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 178 out of 1014 TE from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/SdTVqjxzNG #RAS #Broncos pic.twitter.com/ZSxPIzyWov— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 30, 2022
What others are saying about TE Greg Dulcich
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler
A two-year starter at UCLA, Dulcich was a hybrid Y tight end in head coach Chip Kelly’s offense, splitting his snaps 50/50 between inline and detached. A former walk-on, he became a starter prior to the 2020 season and led the Bruins in receiving each of the last two years, adding a big-play threat to the offense (three touchdown catches of 50-plus yards). Dulcich is at his best as a “big slot” with his ability to find open zones or attack the seam/crossers with his pull-away acceleration (averaged 17.6 yards per catch in his career). As a blocker, his pass protection has a quick expiration date and he needs to continue developing his play strength and hand technique. Overall, Dulcich needs continued maturation as a blocker, but he is explosive as a pass-catcher with a good-sized catch radius and separation burst before and after the catch. He projects best as an “F” tight end in the NFL with mismatch value.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein
Move tight end with some vertical talent who can’t be expected to add much as an in-line blocker. Dulcich is a long-legged, duck-footed runner who is faster than he looks, averaging 17.6 yards per catch for his career. He can improve as a route-runner but might have three-level potential as a pass-catcher. He’s urgent and determined, adding extra yardage after the catch. He has a decent catch radius and tracks it well, but lacks desired body control for tougher catch adjustments down the field.
I expected the Broncos to target a tight end who would be a better blocker so I glossed over Dulcich during the pre-draft process, but I love this pick. You just traded a bunch of picks, players, and resources to acquire quarterback Russell Wilson so you better start surrounding him with more and more weapons. That is exactly what they did here with Dulcich.
His skill set is comparable to Albert O’s but I would give Dulcich the edge in the explosive department. Neither of these two are great run blockers, so it will be interesting to see how coach Hackett moves forward here when it comes to naming a starter. Albert O. has looked good in limited playing time, but I don’t think we can count out Dulcich pushing him hard for the starting job this summer.
Ultimately, I think we’ll see all the tight ends play a decent amount this season. We have two receiving threats in Albert O. and Dulcich and two blocking tight ends in Tomlinson and Saurbet as well. How Hackett mixes and matches these guys will be interesting moving forward.
Do you think rookie tight end Greg Dulcich will be the Broncos starting tight end this upcoming season?
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