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Initial expectations and projections for Netane Muti with the Broncos in 2020

Zac Stevens Avatar
June 19, 2020

DENVER — On talent alone, the Broncos landed one of the best interior offensive linemen in the entire draft. In the sixth round.

Of course, there’s a reason Netane Muti fell to the sixth round—his extensive injury history. Over the past two seasons, the 6-foot-3, 315-pound mauler only played in five total games due to serious injuries.

In 2018, Muti’s season was cut short due to a ruptured Achilles and in 2019 he only played in three games before suffering a Lisfranc injury. But in 2017, Muti played every single game. And he played every snap mighty fine.

Here’s what to expect from the ultra-talented sixth-round guard his rookie season.

Projections for 2020: The ultimate developmental year

Muti is talented and physically gifted enough to start for many NFL teams Week 1 of his rookie season. He’s got the size, tape and NFL strength to make the transition from Fresno State to the NFL immediately. In fact, at the combine, he came close to breaking the bench-press record as he put up 225 pounds a whopping 44 times.

However, coming off the Lisfranc injury, Muti may need more time this offseason to ensure a full recovery. Fortunately, Muti is in the perfect situation in Denver for that.

Arguably one of the Broncos’ strongest positions on their roster is at both guard positions. With Dalton Risner at left guard and Graham Glasgow at right guard, Denver is without a doubt set with their starting guards for 2020. Therefore, there will be no reason to rush Muti’s recovery, development and transition into the NFL as a rookie.

If he’s 100 percent healthy, Muti will unquestionably be Denver’s top backup guard in 2020 and could very well see playing time if Risner, Glasgow or Lloyd Cushenberry, Denver’s projected starting center, miss time. If fellow-rookie Cushenberry gets hurt, the Broncos could slide Glasgow to center and play Muti at right guard.

With Risner and Glasgow both under contract for many more years, drafting Muti presents an interesting possible scenario, likely for 2021 and beyond.

If Muti stays healthy throughout his rookie season and develops into his talent, it will be hard to keep him off the field. In that case, it could be possible to see the Broncos attempt to move Risner to left tackle and slide Muti into left guard—his natural position. Risner has played tackle in his football career and with the team declining Garett Bolles’ fifth-year option, Denver will be in need of a left tackle. Muti’s emergence could make this a possibility.

Typically sixth-round picks need a lot to go their way for them to have a prominent role on a team. For Muti, thanks to his immense talent, he just needs to stay healthy to turn into one of the best value picks in the 2020 draft. But it will likely have to wait at least a year to pay off.


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