Nate Adkins Intriguing UDFA Makes Denver Broncos’ Initial 53 Man Roster 

Nate Adkins is a very intriguing player. Not because he’s the biggest, strongest, or fastest, but because he might be one of the most versatile young players you’ll find. Originally attending East Tennessee State, he graduated from South Carolina listed as a tight end. 

Which on the surface looking strictly at stats would present to be true. However his 73 receptions, 749 yards and 4 touchdowns are somewhat misleading in that they don’t tell the whole story of Nate Adkins and his value. He also had 1 carry for 1 yard, collecting 3 special teams tackles. 

At his pro-day he turned a few heads running a 4.74 40-yard dash, 31 inch vertical, and 14 reps in the bench press, but Adkins’ value has never been what he can do at pro-days or combines. He’s simply a football player, born and conditioned to play the sport he loves.

Nate Adkins

Versatility Leads to Victory in Position Battle

At 6’3 252 pounds Adkins has filled many roles during his career. Whether it was on offense as a full back, or tight end, by he’s also extremely versatile on special teams. This could be the entire reason we see him retained by Denver, allowing him to truly begin his NFL career.

Not only can Adkins play all the roles your average fullback/tight end can play, but he’s also able to long snap as well. He made a point of long snapping for coaches at his pro day to truly show them what they would be getting with him on their team. On top of this his father is an offensive line coach and he began in high school playing on the line, learning the fundamentals of blocking at a high level early on. 

While the Broncos had up to six tight ends on their roster they have only rostered Mitch Fraboni at long snapper, and Michael Burton at fullback. Keeping Adkins meant you had a player who could add depth at all three of these positions while adding immediate value in other ways on special teams. The Broncos ultimately decided this versatility was simply too valuable. 

Expected Role in 2023

While Adkins isn’t expected to be a starter the fact that he was kept while the team opted to trade away former draft pick Albert Okweugbunam to Philadelphia, is significant. We heard a lot of talk that this had to with the lack of blocking ability Okweugbunam has shown to this point. Instead they saw the value in Adkins who is a better blocker than he is an athlete.That isn’t to say he can’t be a dangerous piece to this offense if utilized correctly. 

He was kept with three other veterans at tight end which means he will be allowed to learn behind guys like Adam Trautman and Chris Manhertz. They also have Greg Dulcich who is expected to command his fair share of targets.  The thing is, Adkins isn’t here for any one thing he does, he’s here because of how many things he can do. The more time the staff gives him to get comfortable in this offense learning multiple positions the more valuable he will be. Check out the video below to hear Adkins speak on his roles with Denver. 

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