Immediately after being drafted, Broncos Country couldn’t wait to see tight end Greg Dulcich play.

Being seen as the replacement for the recently traded Noah Fant, there was so much hype surrounding the UCLA alum. Unfortunately, a pesky hamstring injury delayed the debut.

Now just two weeks after his grand return to the field, he’s become a player that the fantasy experts are telling everyone to buy and is giving Broncos fans optimism for the thus far underwhelming offense.

The California Native

Dulcich was born in Glendale, CA. Beginning in middle school, he dreamed of playing football professionally.

Dulcich played football throughout his four years at St. Francis High School. He started making a splash during his junior year with 30 receptions for 406 yards and four touchdowns.

It was his senior year, though, where he really shined. 

St. Francis High School reached the 2017 CIF Southern South Division III championship. Unfortunately, they lost 44–42 on a last-second field goal. During the season, Dulcich caught 50 passes for 1,168 yards and 12 touchdowns and ran for another three touchdowns. 

Coming out of college, he received no scholarship offers from major college programs. However, that didn’t stop him from pursuing his goal of playing college football.

His high school coach, Jimmy Bonds, was a former UCLA quarterback who still had connections with the program and knew Dulcich could contribute. The Bruins offered a spot as a preferred walk-on.

Though he felt he deserved a guaranteed spot, it was his brother George’s words that helped convince him to go. 

“What are you waiting for? If you think you’re good enough to be there, then go there and show them.”

From Walk-On to Scholarship Player

After a redshirt freshman season, Dulcich saw increased playing time in year two. 

On his 20th birthday, he was informed that he was being put on a scholarship.

Eleven days before the 2020 season started, Bonds passed away after suffering from cancer. 

Dulcich had his breakout season in his redshirt sophomore year, which was shortened due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

He played in all seven games of their season and started in five. Dulcich finished second on the team in receptions with 26 for 517 yards and recorded a team-best five touchdowns. His 19.9 yards per catch average was second-best in the nation among tight ends. At the end of the season, he was voted second-team All-Pac-12. 

In his final season as a Bruin, he started in all 12 games and scored five touchdowns. With a total of 725 yards on 42 receptions, Dulcich averaged 17.3 yards per catch, ranking him at No. 3 among the nation’s tight ends. He was named to the first-team All-Pac-12 and was chosen to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Coach Bonds’ Legacy

Dulcich decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and declared for the 2022 NFL Draft. 

While attending UCLA, the late Bonds had been roommates with Broncos’ general manager George Paton. They maintained their friendship for many years, with Paton also becoming close to Jimmy’s brother, Tom.

Despite the relationship, Paton had never met Dulcich before he paid a pre-draft visit to the Broncos’ facilities.  

Still, the Denver Broncos selected the blossoming tight end in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft as the 80th overall pick. He was the third player at his position to be picked.

Before announcing the pick, Paton gave Dulcich a call to notify him that he was about to become a Denver Bronco.

“Coach Bonds would be proud, wouldn’t he?” Paton said.

“I think so,” Dulcich replied. “Everything I do, I’m doing it for him.”

Worth the Wait

Following the draft, Dulcich signed his rookie contract worth $5,504,022 over the next four seasons. 

In an unfortunate turn of events, he suffered a hamstring injury during OTAs that sidelined him for almost all of training camp. He didn’t play a preseason snap.

And then Denver announced they were sending him to the injured reserve right before the season started. 

Dulcich was finally activated in Week 6 against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Broncos needed him as an impact player at tight end with Albert Okwuegbunam benched. Although the Chargers game ultimately ended up being a disappointing loss, the rookie was a star.

Late in the first quarter, Dulcich caught a 39-yard touchdown in what was just his second NFL reception. He finished the game with two receptions for 44 yards.

In Week 7, Dulcich followed it up with another impressive performance, despite Brett Rypien in at quarterback. This time with six receptions for 51 yards. 

In just two weeks back on the field, Dulcich has provided a spark to a team in desperate need of offensive momentum. If the Broncos want any hope of turning things around, they’ll look to continue involving Dulcich. 

While things definitely haven’t gone the way Broncos Country had anticipated this season, fans can at least find some solace for the future because Dulcich is just getting started.

The Denver Broncos will face off against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London on Sunday, October 30th, at 7:30 a.m. MST.