Name: Troy Fumagalli
Position: Tight End
Pro Team: Denver Broncos
College: University of Wisconsin
Draft Position: Fifth round, 156th overall
- Height: 6’5”
- Weight: 247 pounds
- Hands: 10 1/4”
- Arm Length: 32 1/8
- Bench Press: 14 Reps
- Due to a lower leg injury, Fumagalli was held out of remaining testing opportunities.
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Fumagalli is a very experienced tight end coming out of college in both the run game and especially in the passing game. With over 135 receptions in his college career, he is used to being heavily utilized in pro-style offenses.
Because of this added experience, Fumagalli should be ready to contribute in the NFL during his rookie season if given the opportunities. He has tremendous hands as seen in his film, and is able to catch passes in traffic whether on target or not. His hand size allows him to use his frame to rise above defenders and snag passes out of the air with a very low drop rate.
Fantasy owners will want to immediately be aware of the durability questions that come with Fumagalli. While he has not suffered any major setbacks in his career, he did have seasons where he struggled to stay on the field because of lower body injuries which slowed him significantly.
We are still unsure of the physical speed that Fumagalli will display in the NFL. He was unable to compete in running drills in both the Combine and at his pro day which, unfortunately, led to him falling into the fifth round of the NFL draft.
Scouts have him predicted somewhere in between the 4.7-4.8 range in regards to his 40-yard dash time. This certainly will not allow him to get by many defenders, but his route-running abilities should make up for his lack of speed.
Fumagalli only put up 14 reps in the bench press during his Combine performance. While this is not terrible by any means, Fumagalli has already showed signs of poor run-blocking ability, and a lack of pure strength does not help his cause.
Despite the major quarterback issues the Broncos faced in 2017, the tight end position still saw a high number of targets throughout the season. Coming off a collegiate season of 46 receptions, Fumagalli should be utilized in the offense given his sure hands and familiarity of the pro-style offenses.
There is no clear-cut number one tight end that the Broncos have lined up for the 2018 season. Fumagalli comes into the organization to fill the need that has been left vacant for a few years, and could be the answer in the passing game.
If his strength and run blocking improves, the Broncos would be forced to incorporate him into more packages, meaning more targets, especially in the red zone where almost every tight end touchdown for Denver was scored in 2017.
Jake Butt figures to play a large role in the Denver offense this season after missing the entire 2017 season. While Butt seems to be the favorite tight end amongst the Denver coaching staff, it still will come down to the results of fall training camp and preseason.
Case Keenum arrives as the Broncos starting quarterback for the 2018 season, which could limit the usage that any of the Denver tight ends will see this year. In Minnesota, Rudolph saw his receptions decrease from 83 in 2016, to 57 in 2017 where Keenum was the starter for a majority of the season. Rudolph still was heavily targeted in the red zone, but the statistics are still necessary to recognize.
Given these circumstances, it remains unforseen how many targets will come Fumagalli’s way, especially if he is splitting that target share with Butt. These threats do not by any means deter me from selecting him in my rookie drafts but the outlook for immediate production does take a hit.
Short Term Expectations
It will be a bit of a waiting game for dynasty owners before they get a clearer picture of what Fumagalli’s value will truly be in fantasy. Based on the competition and lack of tight end usage by Keenum, it seems necessary not to expect much out of Fumagalli in his rookie season.
However, the production and health that Jake Butt will perform with remains unseen. If Butt cannot get back to his collegiate value, Fumagalli seems ready enough to step into a starting role at the tight end position.
Long Term Expectations
In the long run, given he is able to stay healthy, Fumagalli should be a terrific receiving tight end in the NFL. Whether it is with the Broncos long term, or not, I think the value he carries as a consistent receiver should land him on any roster for years to come. As he continues to develop his frame and strength to that of an NFL caliber tight end, he will see more playing time and targets.
NFL Player Comparison
Fumagalli’s size and abilities truly remind me of former Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek. When the Eagles needed a crucial first down in the middle of traffic, you could always find Celek being targeted for his sure hands and his large frame, allowing him to create contact while maintaining balance. Both Fumagalli and Celek will not “wow” you with their speed or big play ability, but ultimately you fall in love with reliability, which always keeps you your job in the NFL.
Projected Rookie Draft Range
According to DLF’s June Rookie Rankings, Fumagalli is being drafted very late in the last round of most rookie drafts, or even going undrafted. He has great value, especially when you can spend a fourth-round pick on him or even find him in the free agent pool.
As the NFL training camp reports come out, you will want to keep a close eye on the tight end competition in Denver. If Fumagalli impresses, you could be getting a starting tight end for next to nothing late in your rookie drafts.
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