Albert Okwuegbunam drafted by Denver Broncos
He had to wait until the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, but Missouri tight end Albert Okwuegbunam is off the board. Okwuegbunam was selected by the the Denver Broncos with the 118th overall pick, midway through the fourth round.
In Denver, Okwuegbunam will reunite with former Missouri quarterback Drew Lock. Lock, who started the final few games of the season for the Broncos, accounted for 17 of Okwuegbunam’s 23 receiving touchdowns during his college career.
Okwuegbunam left Missouri for the NFL following his redshirt junior season. The Springfield, Illinois native redshirted the 2016 season then burst onto the scene as a redshirt freshman in 2017 when he caught 11 touchdown passes on 29 total receptions. Those 11 scores tied for the most by any tight end in the country.
In his career, Okwuegbunam caught 98 passes for 1,187 yards. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash time of any tight end at the NFL Combine, but concerns about inconsistency, injuries and ball security hurt his draft stock. Okwuegbunam missed four games In 2019 with a shoulder Injury and missed another game due to Injury In 2020. He also had two games last season In which he did not catch a pass and struggled at times with fumbles.
Okwuegbunam will have to compete with Noah Fant for reps in Denver. Fant, a first-round pick out of Iowa last season, led all NFL rookie tight ends with 40 receptions for 562 yards. The Broncos currently also have six other tight ends on the roster.
Lock seemed pleased by the pick.
Okwuegbunam is the second Missouri player to be picked in this year's draft. Defensive tackle Jordan Elliott was picked in the third round by the Cleveland Browns on Friday night. Okwuegbunam is the first Missouri tight end selected In the NFL Draft since Michael Egnew in 2012.