Seeking depth at tight end, the Denver Broncos on Wednesday conducted a free-agent workout with former Kansas City Chiefs tight end Deon Yelder, a member of the Super Bowl LIV championship squad.
A workout that resulted in no immediate deal. Per 9News' Mike Klis, the Broncos "aren't signing Yelder as of now."
Still, his is a name to keep in the Rolodex. Yelder, a 2018 undrafted free agent, has 26 games of NFL experience, converting 242 offensive snaps into 10 catches for 86 yards over his first three seasons, all in Kansas City — and strictly as a deep backup to superstar TE Travis Kelce.
The 26-year-old was not re-signed by the Chiefs following the 2020 campaign. He joined the Washington Football Team in May and was waived on Tuesday.
Yelder (6-4, 255) was a 12-game collegiate contributor at Western Kentucky, where he caught 52 passes for 688 yards and seven touchdowns.
"One-year wonder who lacks desired height and length but who plays with some grit as a run blocker," NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote in 2018. "Yelder appears to offer some early straight line speed, but he may be too tight in his lower half to be able to shake coverage underneath with separation out of his route breaks. He flashes potential as a run blocker but lacks consistency of technique from game to game. Yelder doesn't stand out in any one phase, but it stands to reason that he should continue to improve in all areas with more experience and coaching."
If eventually signed, Yelder would revert to the bottom of a top-heavy Broncos depth chart — competing with the likes of Austin Fort, Eric Saubert, and Shaun Beyer — behind locked-in starter Noah Fant and presumed No. 2 Albert Okwuegbunam, who's returning from a torn ACL.
Thus far, through a handful of training camp practices, Saubert appears to own the early edge for TE3 duties.
"Experienced guy, which is good. He's tough, knowledgeable, knows how to play the game, got good hands, very competitive. He's a good teammate, good guy to have. I like him a lot," Denver head coach Vic Fangio said Thursday.
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