Broncos TE Albert Okwuegbunam eager to step up after Noah Fant trade

Joshua Kellem
Broncos Wire

Imagine busting your butt every day to work toward your childhood dream of becoming a professional football player like Denver Broncos tight end Albert Okwuegbunam.

Then, also imagine being roadblocked at your position group by a fellow teammate that was drafted just the year before you. But instead of being a fourth-round pick like yourself, he, Noah Fant, was the team’s first-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

RELATED: Russell Wilson discusses first practice during Broncos OTAs 

To cap it off, you, Okwuegbunam, suffer a torn ACL in your fourth professional game. The injury hinders you to playing just 17 of a possible 33 games your first two seasons in the league. But through the valleys, a peak emerges: the Broncos trade incumbent starting TE Fant to the Seattle Seahawks as part of the Russell Wilson trade.

Despite one more valley in the form of the Broncos drafting a TE in the third round of this year’s draft, it looks like the runway is set for Okwuegbunam’s plane to take off.

Preseason will be our judge.

Albert Okwuegbunam #85 of the Denver Broncos dives for the end zone for a receiving touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the fourth quarter at Empower Field At Mile High on December 12, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.

Okwuegbunam, though, is ready to make good on the potential then-GM John Elway saw in him to draft him in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL draft.

"I saw with Noah being traded — I think that it’s good for him. He gets a good opportunity, a fresh start in Seattle," Okwuegbunam said last week. "I love Noah. Obviously, that opens up a big opportunity for me. I’ve just been focusing on that and approaching every day with that opportunity and having that competitiveness. Overall, just trying to be the best tight end that I can be and compete for that No. 1 role."

Okwuegbunam started stating his case to be Wilson’s No. 1 TE on Monday when the third phase of OTAs began. Check out the former’s current spot on the Broncos’ projected offensive depth chart while we await training camp.