Feleipe Franks, Denver Broncos

Feleipe Franks, Denver Broncos


Quarterback Feleipe Franks #15 of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Denver Broncos‘ QB battle has been a talking point since OTAs began in May.

With a trio of competitors in the fray for the starting quarterback job, it would seem counterproductive to add another arm into the mix at this point.

Any reps taken from the potential starter are essentially lost. The Broncos are indeed bringing in another quarterback, former undrafted free agent and Atlanta Falcons QB Feleipe Franks. However, he is working through a move to a new position.

“Among Broncos tryout players today was former Florida QB Feleipe Franks, who worked out as a TE,” 9News’ Mike Klis reported on X on June 11.

Franks spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons with the Falcons, where he began his transition.

I’ve noticed the @18franks hive has been buzzing lately. While I don’t have the shot of him trucking Teez Tabor today, I have gotten quite a few plays of him on special teams and tight end.

The former QB is definitely turning some heads in camp.

“The Falcons signed Franks with the idea that he would play quarterback, but midway through the 2021 season a coach — Franks says he can’t remember which one — mentioned the idea of trying tight end,” The Athletic’s Josh Kendall wrote in August 2022. “It’s not difficult to see why.”

Franks is listed at 6-foot-6 and 234 pounds. He also boasted solid in-line speed, running a 4.61 40-yard dash at his pro day.

He has four rushes for six yards in his NFL career.

Feleipe Franks Trying to Follow Similar Path as Former Broncos QB

Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos

GettyQuarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos.

Franks ended his collegiate career quarterbacking the Arkansas Razorbacks in 2020. But he spent his first three years as a collegian at the University of Florida, alma mater of former Broncos QB Tim Tebow.

Tebow helped snap the Broncos’ five-year playoff drought in 2011; one year before Peyton Manning’s arrival.

However, Tebow’s career as a quarterback did not last long.

It lasted three seasons with stops at the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets. The Eagles cut Tebow in 2015. He was out of the league for six years before resurfacing with the Jacksonville Jaguars and attempting to make the conversion to tight end.

The experiment lasted just a few months, with Tebow signing with Jacksonville in May of 2021 and the Jaguars cutting him that August. It is a daunting path. Franks brushed that off.

“Absolutely not, that does not frighten me,” Franks said in 2022, per Kendall.

This offseason saw the Broncos address many different issues. But they are still seeking out a consistent threat at tight end and. More specifically, they need someone who can fill the unique “joker” role.

Feleipe Franks Could Help Broncos in Taysom Hill-Like Role

Taysom Hill, Denver Broncos

GettyTaysom Hill #7 of the New Orleans Saints.

“We use the term ‘joker’ where we can get match-ups,” Broncos head coach Sean Payton told reporters in June 2023. “The ‘joker’ player for us is – it’s not a receiver. It’s either a running back or a tight end with exceptional ball skills, and then you can work matchups.”

The ideal makeup of the role could be New Orleans Saints hybrid Taysom Hill. He has operated as a slash player for years, beginning under Payton’s watch.

Franks fits a similar profile even in his pre-draft evaluation, even when projected as a QB.

“He has pro-caliber arm strength and buttery touch on his deep throws,” NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote in 2022. “Franks is also a mobile quarterback who can get outside the pocket and extend the play or rollout to either direction and throw strikes. His Arkansas tape might be good enough to earn him a shot as a Day 3 selection and potential NFL backup.”

Franks did not garner that Day 3 but he can still carve out a niche for himself in the NFL if his transition to tight end takes hold. He could also serve as the Broncos’ emergency QB, freeing a roster sport on game days.

The Broncos might be the best place for that to happen with Payton at the helm.

Josh Buckhalter covers the NBA and NFL for Heavy.com. He has covered both leagues since 2016, including bylines at FanSided, Last Word on Sports and Clocker Sports. He’s based in Villa Park, Illinois. Follow Josh on Twitter and Instagram: @JoshGBuck More about Josh Buckhalter

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