Denver Broncos Wide Receivers Face High Expectations

Denver Broncos Wide Receivers

The Denver Broncos wide receivers have, in the past, been one of the best in the NFL. Even in the difficult years after Super Bowl 50, Denver’s receiver corps together with defense was still considered worthy of a mention by certain media outlets. In fact, Pro Football Focus recently named them the sixth-best corps heading into the 2021 season, which is shockingly high praise. However, as a unit in 2020, they graded at 66.7 – only good enough for 30th in the league.

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Denver Broncos Wide Receivers May Be One of the Best

Some analysts are expecting Denver’s receivers to really jump in the rankings in the 2021 season. Can they leap from 30th to sixth? According to Steve Palazzolo of PFF, when combined with their tight ends, they have one of the best receiving units in the NFL.

Denver’s Receiver Corps Has a Promising Year Ahead of It

Courland Sutton was limited to 31 snaps last season due to injury. His return is highly anticipated – back in 2019, he graded at 80.5 while averaging 15.4 yards per reception. If he remains healthy, there is every indication that he can return to that level in 2021.

Jerry Jeudy dropped 12 of his 64 catchable targets last season, but there are high expectations from all corners of the league. His second year should be a major improvement from his first.

K. J. Hamler came in clutch last year, but still dropped seven of his 37 catchable targets. He has proven he can be a dynamic playmaker and he possesses the quickness to win in the short game and down the field. Keep that up, and the Broncos will be in a much better position.

Tim Patrick was considered one of the most “underrated” receivers in the league by PFF. He caught 67 percent of his contested targets, didn’t drop a single pass, and earned a receiving grade of 75.6 – tied for seventh-best in the NFL. His performance was a total surprise, and it will be invaluable for his team if he repeats or improves on that this season.

There are guys worth noting, who could make the roster if they do enough. Kendall Hinton famously filled in during COVID protocols when the Broncos were unthinkably lacking a quarterback. He transitioned to wide receiver late at Wake Forest and is dynamic out of the slot. Vic Fangio, who only gives praise when absolutely deserved, hinted at being impressed with Hinton at OTAs.

Additionally, Diontae Spencer is a specialist, but one of the better returners in the NFL right now. It would behoove the Broncos to keep him. Meanwhile, Seth Williams was a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft but has a reel of dazzling catches.

Denver Doesn’t Have Enough Tight Ends

The Broncos lack depth at the position yet have been very fortunate to have two stars here. Noah Fant is deadly, one of the NFL’s fastest tight ends. In 2020, he graded at 80.3, making him sixth-best at the position. Meanwhile, Albert Okwuegbunam shone as a rookie, grading at 83.2 on 86 snaps. The Broncos will hope that he can maintain playing like this.

With the wide receiver depth providing a multitude of possibilities, one option could be to keep them all and use the practice squad guys for supplementary depth at tight end.

There are few teams with their top-four receivers being on the upper echelon of the position. If the Broncos can just improve on their run game and quarterback performance, the entire offense could be explosive.

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