The Denver Broncos have always had high hopes for Virgil Green. Since selecting him in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL draft, he’s been a presence, however small, on the Broncos offense. He’s played tight end, he’s played fullback and he’s been a blocker.

What he hasn’t been is a consistent pass-catching threat.

In five seasons, Green has caught a total of 35 balls for 379 yards and two touchdowns. Last year, when he pulled in 12 receptions for 173 yards and one touchdown, was his best year by far.

But in today’s NFL, that’s pitiful production for a tight end, and this year, the Broncos need much more than that.

With no Julius Thomas and no Owen Daniels, Denver’s tight end position is up for grabs, and Green is the most-likely Week 1 starter. So far, he’s proven he’s up for the task.

In two games — two series, really — Green has pulled in seven receptions for 83 yards; he’s looked like a focal point of Gary Kubiak’s offense and a legitimate threat in the passing game.

That much has been clear.

A quarterback’s best friend is a reliable tight end, and after years of hoping, it finally looks as if Virgil Green is ready to play that role.