Broncos’ rookie TE/FB Nate Adkins is ‘a coach’s dream’

Nate Adkins wasn’t a household name in April.

Most NFL fans probably hadn’t heard of the South Carolina tight end going into the draft. The Denver Broncos knew who he was, though, and the team likely would have drafted Adkins if they had more than just five picks.

After roster cuts last week, Broncos general manager George Paton praised Adkins for his versatility, toughness and smarts.

“He’s a football player,” Paton said on Aug. 29. “He’s a guy we had targeted throughout the process just like Jaleel [McLaughlin]. We almost drafted him. It just didn’t fall. We didn’t have a lot of picks. We were really fortunate to get him as an undrafted free agent.

“He’s been everything we thought. We had him in on a Top-30 [visit]. [We] loved the visit. He’s got a great mind, and he can do a lot of different things. He’s a coach’s dream because he can do so many different things. [He can] play special teams as well.”

Adkins is listed as a tight end on the depth chart, but he will also serve as a backup fullback behind Michael Burton. And — as Paton mentioned — the rookie will likely have a key role on special teams this fall.

“He’s pretty consistent each day,” coach Sean Payton said. “You know what you’re getting. I think if he is assigned the SAM linebacker and the play is over with — it may not have been perfect all of the time — but he probably blocked the SAM. He was just one of those guys who day in and day out got his job done.

“He’s got some position versatility. You see him playing some fullback. He’s kind of that ‘F’ tight end if you will. He can play on the ball, but he’s probably a little bit better off the ball. He was someone we considered drafting, and he was someone who was very sought after, after the draft. We felt it would be hard to get him to a practice squad spot.”

Now on the 53-man roster, Adkins is set to make his NFL debut when the Broncos host the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1 (Sept. 10).

Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire

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