Even a somewhat disappointing 2019 season wasn’t going to stop Albert Okwuegbunam from hearing his name called in the draft. The former Missouri tight end was drafted Saturday in the fourth round with the 118th overall pick by the Denver Broncos. Okwuegbunam will reunite with quarterback Drew Lock, who he connected with for 17 touchdown passes over two college seasons.
Okwuegbunam broke out two years ago as a redshirt freshman, hauling in 11 touchdowns and 415 yards on 29 catches. His blend of size, speed and athleticism made him such an intriguing prospect early on.
But injuries cost him a ton of playing time in 2018 and 2019, with his last season being a down year statistically almost across the board. Part of that was the scheme, as it seemed like offensive coordinator Derek Dooley wanted to use him only in red zone situations — and with the way the Tigers’ offense collapsed in the second half of the season, those situations weren’t coming often.
But he also didn’t help his case by being one of the leaders in the conference in dropped passes, and his injury history was a huge red flag heading into the draft (check out Nate’s piece for a bit more on Okwuegbunam’s draft profile). Still, his 40-time in the combine opened some eyes, and he was consistently discussed among the top tight ends in the draft.
Injuries will still be a concern with Okwuegbunam moving forward, but the Broncos took the chance on him on Day 3.