The Denver Broncos selected two tight ends in the 2011 NFL Draft, Julius Thomas of Portland St. and Virgil Green of Nevada, to help a position that saw its starter, Daniel Graham, be released in early March. While both rookies figure to compete for playing time, Pro Football Weekly reports that Richard Quinn may have the inside track on the starting job. This is likely because Quinn is a blocking tight end, something John Fox utilizes in his offensive schemes.
Quinn was selected in former coach Josh McDaniels' first draft in 2009. He traded two third round picks to acquire the last pick of the second round (and a fourth round pick) to draft Quinn. As things turned out, Quinn was used sparingly and he didn't record his first NFL catch until Week 15 of the 2010 season.
Julius Thomas and Virgil Green are more pass-oriented tight ends and could be quite useful in the red zone. But will Thomas be in the mold of Antonio Gates, who turned his basketball skills into stardom on the gridiron, or will he be more like Wesley Duke, who suffered injury before the start of his second season.
But the Broncos definitely do need more production out of the position. Who will step up?