When Sean Payton and the Denver Broncos executed the draft day trade with the New Orleans Saints to move back from the sixth round and picking up tight end Adam Trautman, they clearly had something very specific in mind for the fourth-year player.
Payton noted that a tight end coming out of college does one thing better than the other, with Trautman more of a blocker coming out of college.
“Describing the player—he’s the versatile tight end that can play the ‘F’ tight end,” Payton said on Saturday. “He played a lot, most recently, on the ball. Generally, when you draft a tight end out of college, they do one thing better than the other. [Usually a] blocker first.”
However, that is something Trautman hoped would evolve with him more involved in the passing game. With Payton drafting him in 2020 and then out of football for a year in 2022, the new regime in New Orleans didn’t appear interested in Trautman’s development in the passing game. That led to him initiating the request to be traded.
In a phone interview with Mike Klis of 9News, Trautman said:
“I was actually hoping to get moved. This was initiated by me personally. I’ve been waiting for a little bit for something to materialize and it just happened to be the Broncos, obviously.”
In three seasons and 43 games, he hauled in 60 receptions for 641 yards and four touchdowns. By comparison, Broncos’ tight end Greg Dulcich hauled in 33 receptions for 411 yards and two touchdowns in just ten games as a rookie last season.
Trautman went on to explain to Klis what went down in New Orleans and why he felt a change of scenery was necessary.
“I feel like I was placed somewhat in a box,’’ he said. “They put a limit on what I could contribute and I felt like I could contribute a lot more. I was primarily used as a blocker. I thought I could do more and I didn’t want to get to the end of my career and think I could have done it, caught the ball a little more. Whatever the case was, the team I was playing for just didn’t let me do it. I want a chance to prove I can do it because I believe I can and I have in the past.’’
Coming out of college, Trautman displayed some decent athleticism. He and Dulcich were surprisingly similar, with Trautman just a little bit lower on the combine results compared to where Dulcich scored.
Payton is looking to run the ball more in 2023 and most of his free agent signings seem to point to that. With that in mind, we could see a guy like Trautman get a significant share of the snap count with Dulcich in the mix. It should lead to a very competitive training camp between the two.