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Dynasty: TE Troy Fumagalli, Broncos

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Analyzing why the Broncos are buzzing about TE Troy Fumagalli

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When Troy Fumagalli was coming out of Wisconsin, most of the scouting reports tabbed him as an ‘F’ tight end, or a ‘move’ tight end. An ‘F’ is the tight end that is moved around the formation — like a big slot receiver, while the 'Y' is used more traditionally in-line as both a blocker and a receiver firing off the line of scrimmage. 

That same ‘F’ tight end might be called on to block out of 12 personnel but more often than not, he’s a receiver. Based on the perception that his blocking was underdeveloped, draftniks seemed to pigeon-hole Fumagalli as basically a big-bodied receiver. 

However, with the Denver Broncos’ Offseason Training Program in the books, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of Fumagalli’s still burgeoning skill-set. While blocking might not exactly be his forte, he has displayed to his coaches a willingness to at least be a ‘competitive’ blocker.

Fumagalli’s going to put in the effort. 

As Denver’s 2018 fifth-round pick, the former Badger had to red-shirt his rookie campaign due to a sports hernia surgery. However, even though he wasn’t out on the grass practicing with his teammates, he was in the weight room putting in the work to develop and hone an NFL tight end’s body. Fumagalli’s effort and attitude didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates and fellow 2018 rookie class.

“I think ‘Fum’ did a great job honestly,” second-year wideout DaeSean Hamilton said during OTAs. “We lived in the same apartment complex last year. I always saw him every day. I knew ‘Fum’ coming from the Big Ten. Obviously knew he was a baller… I know ‘Fum’, he just attacked it every single day. He wasn’t really complaining. I didn’t see him as much working on the field, but I always saw him working in the training room and in the weight room, things like that.”

Hamilton was drafted by the Broncos one round earlier than Fumagalli. The two have ties dating back to the Big Ten, as Hamilton played at Penn State and left the college ranks as the school’s all-time leading receiver.

For his part, even though he's a tight end, Fumagalli left Wisconsin as the team's No. 7 all-time receiver in receptions and No. 2 all-time among Badger tight ends. That's saying something, considering the prolific alums who came before him like Owen Daniels, Travis Beckum, Garrett Graham and Lance Kendricks, to name a few of the most recent. And 'Fum' accomplished it all with nine fingers. 

Fumagalli’s commitment to the weight room during a scratch year seems to already be paying dividends. With a new coaching staff at Dove Valley, he’s already earned praise for his efforts during OTAs. 

“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,” head coach Vic Fangio said following an OTA practice in May. “We’ll see when the pads come on, but I think he’s doing well overall.”

Fumagalli has been impressive thus far. We’ve heard both players and coaches compliment his efforts. He was one of the standouts of the Broncos’ three-day mini-camp as well, hauling in nearly every target thrown his way and making plays. 

It might be time to stop sleeping on Troy Fumagalli, although that’s a complex notion. Just ask new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, who had no NFL tape to go off of with regard to Fumagalli but has been impressed with what he’s seen thus far.

“He’s doing great,” Scangarelo said during mini-camp. “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.”

If the Broncos had to play a game tomorrow, on paper the depth chart would probably look like this: Jeff Heuerman, Noah Fant (R) and after that, the unit is unsettled.

Jake Butt will ultimately factor into the competition but at this point, any production the Broncos can get out of their 2017 fifth-rounder should be viewed as nothing but gravy as he’s coming off the third ACL tear of his football career. Beyond Butt, the Broncos have received positive contributions from undrafted rookie Austin Fort and Bug Howard — the latter of whom was signed following rookie mini-camp where he appeared as a tryout player.

 

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Broncos TE Troy Fumagalli "consistently made plays in OTAs and minicamp."

Fumagalli is competing for snaps behind presumed starter Noah Fant, but the Broncos are expected to use some two tight end sets, opening a path to playing time for a tight end like Fumagalli. A 2018 fifth-round pick out of Wisconsin, Fumagalli missed his entire rookie season with a sports hernia and isn't expected to make noise as a pass catcher in 2019.

SOURCE: ESPN.com

Jun 14, 2019, 10:37 AM ET

 

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