This is a pick-swap deal. New Orleans will collect Denver’s No. 195 overall pick in this trade, while NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport adds (on Twitter) the Broncos will receive No. 257 from the Saints. With the sixth-rounder, the Saints chose wide receiver A.T. Perry out of Wake Forest.
Trautman, for whom the Saints traded four draft picks to draft 105th overall in 2020, is going into a contract year. Despite the Saints trading four Day 3 picks to move into the 2020 third round for Trautman, he has not yet put it together as a pro. The Saints gave converted receiver Juwan Johnson an extension this offseason, prioritizing the ascending pass catcher as their top tight end. Weeks later, Trautman will follow his old coach to Colorado.
A former Dayton prospect, Trautman posted his best receiving numbers in 2021 (27 catches, 263 yards, two touchdowns). But the Saints had both Johnson and veteran gadget cog Taysom Hill in the mix at tight end. Trautman still played a healthy snap share in 2021 (76%) and logged 521 snaps (57%) in his New Orleans finale campaign. Pro Football Focus rated Trautman as an above-average run blocker as well.
Denver’s tight end room centers around 2022 third-round pick Greg Dulcich. While an injury delayed the UCLA product’s debut, he showed promise in the passing game despite beginning his career during the dysfunctional Nathaniel Hackett-Russell Wilson partnership. The Broncos signed Chris Manhertz this offseason, but he is onboard due mostly to his blocking pedigree. Albert Okwuegbunam remains on Denver’s roster, but the 2022 trade candidate fell out of favor with the team last season. Okwuegbunam is going into a contract year but will certainly not be assured of a roster spot on Payton’s first team.