After two weeks of organized team activities, it seems safe to say Payton is excited about having Dulcich in his offense.
“He had a good day,” Payton said when asked about Dulcich last Thursday. “He’s got a unique skill set, and he’s got traits in the passing game. We use the term ‘Joker’ where we can get matchups. The trick sometimes is trying to predict what you’re going to get defensively, if you’re either going to get a nickel package or a base package. But man, he can run, he’s got good ball skills and he had one of his better practices today. Then you begin to build on that. … I think his menu is going to be lengthy in the passing game and there’s enough stuff that we can do in the run game.
“I’ve been lucky enough to — I’ve had [Jeremy] Shockey, [Jason] Witten, Jimmy Graham, and I’m probably leaving out a few guys. I’m not saying this young player [will be just like them], but he’s got traits that are exciting and today was one of those days where you begin to have a vision.”
Payton went on to explain that the “Joker” in his offense is not a receiver but typically a tight end or a running back with exceptional receiving skills – Reggie Bush, Darren Sproles and Alvin Kamara filled the role in the past. This season, Dulcich will have that job.
“Those were all unique players, not just in the running game, but they had passing game skill sets that allowed you to do multiple things, and I think Greg does too.”
Dulcich (6-4, 245 pounds) missed seven games as a rookie with injuries last season. In the ten games he did play in, Dulcich totaled 33 receptions for 411 yards and two touchdowns.
Now with a year of experience under his belt and playing in what undoubtedly will be an improved offense led by Payton, Dulcich figures to surpass his rookie numbers in 2023. The 23-year-old tight end might even be a candidate to watch for as a potential breakout player this fall.