The Broncos are hoping that new coach Sean Payton will rejuvenate quarterback Russell Wilson in 2023. And they might have a secret weapon to help. That's what Payton all but suggested Thursday, envisioning second-year tight end Greg Dulcich not only as an improved blocker and pass catcher but as an all-purpose "Joker" who rotates between positions.
"He's got a unique skill set," Payton said of Dulcich. "He's got traits. ... He can run. He's got good ball skills. ... You begin to build on that, and ... I think his menu is gonna be lengthy in the passing game, and there's enough stuff that we can do in the run game (too)."
"I've been lucky enough to have -- shoot -- (Jeremy) Shockey and (Jason) Witten, Jimmy Graham ... and I'm not saying this young player (is on their level), but he's got traits that are exciting," Payton continued, comparing Dulcich to past Pro Bowlers at the position. "And you begin to have a vision. The 'Joker' player, for us, is not a receiver; it's either a running back or a tight end with exceptional ball skills. ... And I think Greg (has those)."
Payton went on to compare Dulcich's athleticism -- or, more so, his potential as a utility player -- to star running backs he deployed with the Saints, including Alvin Kamara, Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush.
It is, of course, only offseason talk. But it's notable nonetheless, signaling a potentially expanded role for Dulcich in his second NFL season. A third-round draft pick out of UCLA last year, he didn't see his first action until Week 6 after a summer hamstring issue sent him to injured reserve. But he finished with 33 catches for 411 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games, flashing big-play ability on an otherwise erratic Denver offense.