DENVER (CBS4)- The NFL Draft is just under a week away in Nashville, Tennessee and the Broncos are slated to have the 10th overall pick when the first round gets underway. There has been plenty of speculation throughout the offseason about what the team would do at that spot, but the latest reporting seems to suggest fans may have to wait a little longer on draft night for the Broncos to make their pick.
But, a conflicting answer was given by NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah during a conference call held Thursday discussing the draft. Jeremiah told reporters on the call not to “sleep on” Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson as an option for the team with the No. 10 pick. Hockenson, a 6’5″ 251 pound tight end, flashed at the Combine with 4.7 speed and a 37.5 inch vertical, which ranked near the top of this year’s position group.
The Broncos have struggled with drafting tight ends in recent years, spending later round picks on Jeff Heuermann, Jake Butt, and Troy Fumagalli, none of whom have had a big impact (though both Butt and Fumagalli were recovering from injuries when drafted). All three of those tight ends remain with the team, but Hockenson would be an upgrade over all of them.
In two years at Iowa, Hockenson averaged nearly 15 (14.8) yards per catch and finished with over 1,000 receiving yards for the Hawkeyes. In a draft that is largely devoid of top-end talent at receiver, adding an offensive weapon like Hockenson to pair with newly-acquired QB Joe Flacco would certainly help improve an offense that finished 14th in Football Outsiders’ Offensive DVOA rating.