A young Denver Broncos player that the rest of the country isn’t familiar with could be one of the NFL’s biggest surprises in 2022.

Tight end Albert Okwuegbunam has a massive opportunity in Denver this fall to have a breakout season.

With Noah Fant off to the Seattle Seahawks, it leaves Okwuegbunam as the Broncos’ top tight end.

Okwuegbunam is a unique player who has elite size and athleticism. He’s essentially a hybrid tight end/wide receiver — which means he’s a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.

And now that wide receiver Tim Patrick is out of the year with a torn ACL, it makes the presence of Okwuegbunam even more important.

Denver Broncos
Jun 6, 2022; Englewood, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (85) during OTA workouts at the UC Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Albert Okwuegbunam will be a mismatch nightmare for the Broncos in 2022

Okwuegbunam is well aware that he can be used as a mismatch in Nathaniel Hackett’s offense.

“One of the beauties of this offense, especially at the tight end position, is just the ability to put us anywhere,” said Okwuegbunam this week (via DenverBroncos.com). “When you put me against a linebacker, I’m going to be faster than him. When you put me against a DB, I’m going to be bigger than him. I think that’s where it directly creates that mismatch.”

Okwuegbunam also knows that to stay on the field, he has to do more than just be an option in the passing game. The former Missouri standout needs to be an effective blocker as well. That’s an area where he’s been working to get better.

Eric Tomlinson will obviously be the Broncos’ primary blocking tight end, but Okwuegbunam will still need to be an effective blocker to stay on the field in crucial situations. That’s why it’s great to hear that he’s improved in that area.

Okwuegbunam isn’t a household name, but that could definitely change this season. With Russell Wilson under center for the Broncos and Fant and Patrick (at least for this season) no longer in this offense, it opens the door for Okwuegbunam to have a huge season in Denver.

Featured image via Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports