Hey, Virgil Green, you finally about to join the party?

For five seasons, Green has been a project; he’s been a glorified offensive tackle. And while he’s been a solid blocker for the Broncos — an important blocker — let’s not pretend like he was Joe Thomas or anything out there.

The Denver Broncos need more.

With Julius Thomas taking the big paycheck to play in Jacksonville last offseason, the Broncos were out a pass-catching tight end, a staple of the Gary Kubiak offense, and Green was in line to take up the role. Instead, we saw much of the same — 12 receptions for 173 yards and one touchdown in 16 games.

And it’s not as if he doesn’t have the ability. Green is an athletic guy; there’s no reason he can’t be a quality receiving option in the NFL. Just look at his 2016 preseason.

So far through three games, Green has pulled in 10 receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. Exclude the fact that he’s really only played about four quarters of total action; those numbers almost outmatch his production from all of last season.

But is it for real? Only time will tell, but if we’re talking fantasy, time is of the essence.

For those of you drafting this week, here’s what you need to know about Virgil Green:

Upside: He becomes the offense’s safety blanket

Listen, Virgil Green is going to turn into Rob Gronkowski or ’13 Julius Thomas, but he can be solid.

In Gary Kubiak’s final five years in Houston, his top tight end averaged right about 49 receptions for 586 yards and four touchdowns, which was right on par with what Owen Daniels hauled in last season with the Broncos — 46 receptions for 517 yards and three touchdowns.

Those numbers aren’t fantastic — nowhere near top-10 worthy — but there’s reason to believe Green may do better.

For one, the Broncos need him to be. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will be the stars of the passing game, but with a young quarterback under center, Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch is going to rely on their tight end when they’re in trouble — we’ve seen it this preseason.

If all goes right for Green, there’s an outside chance he verges on 60 catches for 700 yards and seven touchdowns.

Downside: He reverts back to the old Virgil Green

Of course, there’s always the chance that the Virgil Green we’ve seen over the last five seasons is more representative of the player we’ll see in 2016 than the one we’ve seen over the last three weeks — just saying.

Maybe Virgil Green just can’t be an NFL-caliber receiving threat. Maybe he really is a blocker, and that’s it.

Maybe the guy they drafted to be that pass-catching threat last season, Jeff Heuerman, is ready sooner than we thought.

Under this scenario, there’s no world in which Green is even worth drafting.

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