The Denver Broncos' issues at tight end are well known. Daniel Graham was released in March and the current tight ends on the roster, Dan Gronkowski and Richard Quinn, combined for nine receptions in 2010. So it was no wonder that the Broncos drafted a couple of tight ends in the 2011 NFL Draft. Julius Thomas and Virgil Green will both look to capitalize on this turn of events.
As Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports, Thomas is taking full advantage of the situation by becoming the first rookie to participate in the players' unofficial workouts. In fact, he's working closely with backup quarterback Brady Quinn in order to start the transition to the NFL game, including staying at Quinn's home in Denver. Does Quinn think Thomas can find success in the league?
"He's going to have a quick learning curve," Quinn said of Thomas. "We were going over the plays at the house this morning and you saw his ability out there today. I don't think Antonio Gates took a long time, so I think you'll see Julius play right away."
We'll hear Antonio Gates' name thrown out there quite a bit because, like Gates, Thomas played basketball in college (Portland State). But temper that enthusiasm, as Klis does, because Wesley Duke was in a similar situation a few years ago. Duke played in three games during the 2005 regular season for the Broncos, tore ligaments in his knee in 2006 and has not been heard from on an NFL field since then.
Still, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound tight end who can catch passes? The Broncos could really use one right about now to help whoever wins the quarterback job.