With the Denver Broncos making significant changes to the narrow room, starter work is up for grabs. Albert Okwuegbunam is the favorite at the moment, but through early OTAs, Greg Dulcich is said to be at least on his heels.
Typically, the tight end is a position that takes a couple of years to emerge, but with Dulcich there is enough to have a significant role right away. So the question is, can Dulcich beat Okwuegbunam for the job as a starter?
Either way, the rookie looks poised for a significant role in Denver’s bout as a rookie. A glimpse into his career could help project what the future holds for Dulcich.
The tight end rookie just turned 22 in March. He attended St. Francis High School.
Dulcich was an assistant at UCLA, so he had to work hard to get on the pitch. Each year, his hard work has continued to pay off as he has consistently seen more shots in attack, which means a more prominent role, than the previous season.
Dulcich had a hold on two targets for six yards in his freshman year, playing only 18 snaps on offense. He then saw 103 offensive snaps, capturing 8 of 13 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown. Both years his block wasn’t great, but he gave 110% effort regardless of what he was asked to do.
With 444 offensive shots for the third year, Dulcich achieved a significant increase in his role, which led to a noticeable increase in production. He was targeted 41 times with 26 catches for 517 yards and five touchdowns. The opportunity wasn’t too big for him and it showed just how much he brings as a receiver.
While the block still wasn’t great, Dulcich gave it his all and showed some slight technical improvements as time went on. His progression has been remarkable and he has been viewed favorably as a potential draft candidate entering his last season.
Starting all 12 games with 779 snaps up front, Dulcich showed why he was highly regarded. His ability as a catcher was noteworthy, and while he wasn’t a good blocker, he was a blocker with maximum effort. He captured 42 of 65 targets for 725 yards and five touchdowns in his senior year.
During his college career, Dulcich also saw 193 shots in special teams and played quite well. There was a lot to like about his playing on the pitch, and he’s a good athlete. After the 2021 season, he headed to the NFL.
Scroll to Continue
What happens next with the Broncos? Don’t miss any news and analysis! Please take a second, sign Sign up for our free newsletter and get the latest Broncos news in your inbox daily!
Dulcich began his pre-draft trial with the Senior Bowl, where he had a good week of rehearsal. The game wasn’t as supportive and he showed his problems as a blocker, but the training week is viewed with more consideration by NFL scouts than the game itself. In the game, he took a pass for 10 yards.
After that, it was the NFL Scouting Combine where Dulcich did well. Although none of his scores were in the 90th percentile, he never checked in below the 50th percentile on actual tests, except for the bench press. He finished with a relative athletic score of 8.26.
Throughout the process, Dulcich captured the attention of new Broncos manager Nathaniel Hackett, enough to be considered with the 64th overall pick. However, the Broncos were able to wait and take him down with the 80th overall selection in Round 3.
Dulcich hasn’t played a hit in the NFL yet, but he was pretty impressive early on in the OTAs. However, when he gets to retirement and preseason, he has to continue to be impressive to get past Okwuegbunam’s top spot.
No matter what, Dulcich will play a rather significant role in attack as a rookie, especially as a receiver. He needs work to be done to improve his blocking technique, but he has the mindset and work ethic to improve in that area.
However, it wouldn’t be surprising if Dulcich broke 400 yards on reception, which would have been a good season for a rookie tight end.
Follow Erick on Twitter @Erick Trickel.
Follow Mile High Huddle on Twitter And Facebook.
Sign up for Mile High Huddle on Youtube for the daily streaming podcasts of the Broncos!