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New Eagles TE Albert Okwuegbunam working 'overtime' after trade

Albert Okwuegbunam
Albert Okwuegbunam

It's one thing to recognize talent.

It's another to develop it. And that's where the Eagles' player development staff comes into play following a roster move.

Sure, it goes down as a one-sentence transaction, short enough to fit in a post on social media, but a lot of wheels are set in motion once a new player is brought to the team with the intent of making the transition as smooth as possible in order to maximize the added talent.

Upon watching tape from the Broncos' preseason finale against the Rams, Executive Vice President Howie Roseman couldn't help but notice No. 85 on the field. Tight end Albert Okwuegbunam led the way with seven catches for 109 yards and a touchdown in the 41-0 victory.

"Not a lot of tight ends who have 100-yard receiving games in the preseason, and it was because he has a unique ability to uncover, he has lower body flexibility, he has speed, he has length. He has all the tools in his body," Roseman said. "It's hard not to watch that last preseason game and see what it looks like when it looks right."

For Okwuegbunam, he knew that the performance was not only a last chance to stake a claim to one of the Broncos' 53 roster spot, but also to "exploit his talents" for the rest of the league.

"It was a big game for me, just the position I was in Denver, just trying to prove myself going into that fourth year with them," Okwuegbunam said. "I went out there, had a big game, and I was really proud of myself for that. Ultimately, that led to me being here which is a great opportunity. I was definitely super excited about it when I found out I was coming here."

A fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Okwuegbunam had 54 catches for 546 yards and four touchdowns in his first three seasons. The Eagles were more than happy to take a chance on the athletic tight end, who ran a blazing fast 4.49-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. Knowing they would most likely not get Okwuegbunam off waivers at the 31st position, they swapped late-round picks in 2025 with Denver.

Okwuegbunam looks at his time in Philly as a "fresh start." He's been working "overtime" with Tight Ends Coach Jason Michael to get up to speed. Teammate Dallas Goedert coached him up on the sidelines in Friday's practice. Quarterback Jalen Hurts, recalling a battle against Okwuegbunam's Missouri Tigers in college, has been giving pointers.

The entire organization is looking to make sure that Okwuegbunam has every chance to be successful in his new home.

"Great support system here. Great culture," Okwuegbunam said. "Just grinding in the playbook. It's getting with the guys and the coaches and just learning the offense. That's the first step right there just so I can go out there and play fast and that's been my biggest focus for sure."

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