2010 Denver Broncos Positional Preview - Wide Receivers

This is a unit in the middle of a rather significant make-over. There are understandable concerns raised by the departures of Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler, who together accounted for 40% of the Broncos' receiving yards in 2009 along with 57% of the receiving touchdowns. Denver has veterans who should be able to take up the slack -- Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal, Brandon Stokley, and Brandon Lloyd. The Broncos also have Kenny McKinley and Matt Willis who have been around the NFL but have yet to show what they can do. Gaffney should be solid as a primary WR. Royal will hopefully return to his 1st year form. The rest of the veterans will need to show the rookies the way to be successful. Denver currently has a long slate of WRs going into Training Camp. There are a lot of optimistic comments coming out of the OTAs regarding the play of Thomas, Willis, McKinley and Lloyd, so perhaps the predictions of doom and gloom regarding our receiving corp are premature. After the fold, let's put some faces and history to these men.

Since the Broncos have not yet released an official depth chart, I chose to list these players by years in the NFL.  If two or more players have the same level of experience, I chose to list them alphabetically by last name.

 


Brandon Stokley

#14 / Wide Receiver / Denver Broncos

6-0

192

Jun 23, 1976

UL-Lafayette

1 yr, $1.4 million, FA in 2011


The Basics

Acquired: Free Agency, 2007
Pro Year: 12th
Broncos Year: 4th
NFL Games Played/Started: 118/35
Postseason Games Played/Started: 12/1
Born: Blacksburg, VA

Highlights

Is widely acclaimed as one of the most effective slot WRs in the NFL
Has Super Bowl rings from two different teams (2000 Ravens & 2006 Colts)
Has 8 100-yard games, 4 40-catch seasons, and 1 1000-yard seasons in his career
Scored the first points of Super Bowl XXXV on a 38-yard pass reception
Ranks 5th in 1st Down Percentage (77.5) during his years as a Bronco
Was a key part of Indianapolis' AFC South titles (2003-2006)
Ranked 9th in NCAA career receiving yards (3,072) and 10th in career receptions (241)
Set all of his school's receiving records
Exceeded 1000 receiving yards in 3 of his 4 collegiate years (was limited to 4 games his junior season due to a knee injury)

Statistics

High School Played football only in his freshman and senior years; his senior year caught 80 passes for 946 yards (11.8 average)


College


Year
Games
Receptions
Yards
Touchdowns
1995
11
75
1121
9
1996
11
81
1160
7
1997
4
20
248
1
1998
11
65
1173
8


NFL



Year
Receptions
Yards
Average
Longest
TDs
1999 (Bal)
1
28
28.0
28
1
2000 (Bal)
11
184
16.7
32
2
2001 (Bal)
24
344
14.3
46
2
2002 (Bal)
24
357
14.9
35
2
2003 (Ind)
22
211
9.6
37
3
2004 (Ind)
68
1077
15.8
69
10
2005 (Ind)
41
543
13.2
45
1
2006 (Ind)
8
85
10.6
23
1
2007 (Den)
40
635
15.9
58
5
2008 (Den)
49
528
10.8
36
3
2009 (Den)
19
327
17.2
87
4
TOTALS
307
4319
14.1
87
34









Postseason


2000 (Bal)
7
91
13.0
38
1
2001 (Bal)
2
38
19.0
27
0
2003 (Ind)
11
223
20.3
87
3
2004 (Ind)
10
97
9.7
21
0
2005 (Ind)
1
13
13.0
13
0
TOTALS
31
462
14.9
87

Snapshots from Life
**Has been active in raising money for the Meningitis Foundation of America
**Donated clothing, food and supplies to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
**Is married to Lana, and has two sons -- Cameron and Carson

 


Jabar Gaffney

#10 / Wide Receiver / Denver Broncos

6-2

200

Dec 01, 1980

Florida

4 yr, $10 million, $3 million guaranteed, FA in 2011


The Basics

Acquired: Unrestricted Free Agent (New England) 2009
Pro Year: 9th
Broncos Year: 2nd
NFL Games Played/Started: 123/77
Postseason Games Played/Started: 6/4
Born: Jacksonville, FL

Highlights

Earned consensus first-team All-American honors as a redshirt sophomore at the University of Florida
In 2001 ranked 2nd in the nation in receiving yards per game (108.3)
Set an NCAA Division I-A freshman record for receiving yards and receiving touchdowns as a redshirt freshman in 2000
Earned consensus National Freshman of the Year and All-SEC honors
Has appeared in 16 games and totaled 400 receiving yards or more in 6 out of 7 seasons with NE and Hou
Has 14 career games with 80 or more yards and 4 with 100 yards or more
Caught a career high 5 receiving touchdowns in 2007 to help NE post the first ever 16-0 regular season record
In 2006, set an NFL record with consecutive 8-catch, 100-yard receiving games in the playoffs
Set a career high for receiving yards (732) in his first season with Denver
Gaffney's teams are 4-0 (including 2 post season games) when he has recorded 100 or more yards in a game

Statistics

High School Was a 2-year starter in high school.  He caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the 4th quarter of the state championship game his junior year.


College


Year
Games
Receptions
Yards
Touchdowns
2000
12
71
1184
14
2001
11
67
1191
13


NFL



Year
Receptions
Yards
Average
Longest
TDs
2002 (Hou)
41
483
11.8
27
1
2003 (Hou)
34
402
11.8
33
2
2004 (Hou)
41
632
15.4
69
2
2005 (Hou)
55
492
8.9
29
2
2006 (NE)
11
142
12.9
33
1
2007 (NE)
36
449
12.5
56
5
2008 (NE)
38
468
12.3
37
2
2009 (Den)
54
732
13.6
49
2
TOTALS
310
3800
12.3
69
17









Postseason


2006 (NE)
21
244
11.6
31
2
2007 (NE)
4
38
9.5
13
1
TOTALS
25
282
11.3
31
3

Snapshots from Life
**Is married.  He and his wife, Terin have two children: son - Jackson and daughter - Teagan

 


Brandon Lloyd

#84 / Wide Receiver / Denver Broncos

6-0

194

Jul 05, 1981

Illinois

2 yr, $2.05 million, $500 thousand signing bonus, FA in 2011


The Basics

Acquired: Free Agency, 2009
Pro Year: 8th
Broncos Year: 2nd
NFL Games Played/Started: 81/48
Postseason Games Played/Started: 0/0
Born: Kansas City, MO

Highlights

Tied for second among all players with three successful two-point conversions since 2003
Has 4 100-yard receiving games in his NFL career
Was the University of Illinois’ second-leading receiver with 2,583 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns.
Only 2nd player in University of Illinois history to have 2 1000-yard receiving yards in his college career

Statistics

High School Was a cornerback, wide receiver, kicker and punter in high school


College


Year
Games
Receptions
Yards
Touchdowns
2000
11
30
511
2
2001
11
65
1062
10
2002
12
65
1010
9


NFL



Year
Receptions
Yards
Average
Longest
TDs
2003 (SF)
14
212
15.1
44
2
2004 (SF)
43
565
13.1
52
6
2005 (SF)
48
733
15.3
89
5
2006 (Was)
23
365
15.9
52
0
2007 (Was)
2
14
7.0
9
0
2008 (Chi)
26
364
14.0
32
2
2009 (Den
8
117
14.6
44
0
TOTALS
164
2370
14.5
89
15


Snapshots from Life

**Majored in speech communications with an emphasis in journalism.

 


Eddie Royal

#19 / Wide Receiver / Denver Broncos

5-10

180

May 21, 1986

Virginia Tech

4 yr, $3.955 million, $2.4 million guaranteed, FA in 2012


The Basics

Acquired: 2nd Round (42nd overall) 2008 Draft
Pro Year: 3rd
Broncos Year: 3rd
NFL Games Played/Started: 29/27
Postseason Games Played/Started: 0/0
Born: Alexandria, VA

Highlights

Was Virginia Tech's all-time leader in all-purpose yards (4,686)
Set an ACC record for punt return yards (1,296)
College career ranked 4th in receptions (119), 5th in receiving touchdowns (12) and 6th in receiving yards (1,778) at Virginia Tech
In 2008 totaled the 2nd most receptions (91) by a rookie in NFL history
Earned all-rookie honors from Pro Football Weekly in 2008
In 2008 set Broncos' records for receptions (91), receiving yards (980) and receiving touchdowns (5)
In 2008, became the 1st player since the 1970 NFL/AFL merger to post his team's longest kickoff return (95 yds), reception (93 yds), run (71), and punt return (36 yds) in the same year
Set a Broncos' rookie single game record with 11 catches vs San Diego on 12/28/08
Recorded the 6th highest receiving yardage (146 yds) by a player in his first career game since 1960

Statistics

High School Caught 41 passes for 875 yards with 11 touchdowns as a senior to help his HS win their division's state championship.  Returned 10 kickoffs for touchdowns.  SuperPrep rated him as the top player in Virginia. 


College


Year
Games
Receptions
Yards
Touchdowns
2004
12
28
470
3
2005
13
27
315
2
2006
13
31
497
3
2007
13
33
496
4



College



Year
Punt Returns
Yards
Average
Kickoff Returns
Yards
Average
2004
25
274
11.0
12
346
28.8
2005
32
263
8.2
14
293
20.9
2006
23
304
13.2
19
431
22.7
2007
31
455
14.7
14
316
22.6



NFL



Year
Receptions
Yards
Average
Longest
TDs

2008
91
980
10.8
93
5

2009
37
345
9.3
20
0

TOTALS
128
1325
10.4
93
5

Year
Punt Returns
Yards
Average
Kickoff Returns
Yards
Average
2008



23
600
26.1
2009
31
335
10.8
26
621
23.9
TOTALS






Year
Punt Return TDs
Kickoff Return TDs




2008

0




2009
1
1




TOTALS

1



Snapshots from Life
** Earned a Bachelor's degree in Sociology in 3 1/2 years.

 


Matthew Willis

#12 / Wide Receiver / Denver Broncos

6-0

190

Apr 13, 1984

U-C-L-A

3 yr, $1.26 million, FA in 2013


The Basics

Acquired: Free Agency, 2008
Pro Year: 3rd
Broncos Year: 2nd
NFL Games Played/Started: 6/1
Postseason Games Played/Started: 0/0
Born: Dallas, TX

Highlights

Won accolades in HS for accomplishments in track and soccer
In 2003, was a part of the US Junior National track team and participated in the Junior Pan Am Games in Barbados
Entered the NFL as a College Free Agent in 2007

Statistics

High School Only played football during his freshman and sophomore years


College


Year
Games
Receptions
Yards
Touchdowns
2005
8
3
29
1
2006
13
21
219
2


NFL



Year
Receptions
Yards
Average
Longest
TDs
2009 (Den)
0
0
0.0
0
0
TOTALS
0
0
0.0
0
0


Snapshots from Life

**Majored in Sociology

 


Kenny McKinley

Kenny McKinley

#11 / Wide Receiver / Denver Broncos

6-0

183

Jan 31, 1987

South Carolina

4 yr, $1.9502 million, $200 thousand signing bonus, FA in 2015


The Basics

Acquired: 5th round (141st overall) 2009 Draft
Pro Year: 2nd
Broncos Year: 2nd
NFL Games Played/Started: 8/0
Postseason Games Played/Started: 0/0
Born: Mableton, GA

Highlights

Set school records for receptions (207) and yards (2,781)
Scored 19 touchdowns in his 4 years in college
Called "Best receiver ever coached" by SCU Head Coach Steve Spurrier
Only 5th player in SEC history to make more than 200 catches in a career
In 2007 led the SEC with 80.7 receiving yards per game
In 2009, finished 3rd in punt and kick return yardage for Denver

Statistics

High School Played QB in his junior and senior years.  Threw for 3,045 yards and 28 touchdowns.  Rushed for 1,150 yards and 20 touchdowns.


College


Year
Games
Receptions
Yards
Touchdowns
2005
12
25
291
1
2006
13
51
880
5
2007
12
77
968
9
2008
10
54
642
4



NFL



Year
Kick Returns
Yards
Average
Punt Returns
Yards
Average
2009
7
158
22.6
3
32
10.7

Snapshots from Life

** Majored in Retailing at South Carolina

 

 


Alric Arnett

#82 / Wide Receiver / Denver Broncos

6-0

189

Jun 26, 1988

West Virginia

3 yr, $1.215 million, FA in 2013


The Basics

Acquired: College Free Agency, 2010
Pro Year: 1st
Broncos Year: 1st
NFL Games Played/Started: 0/0
Postseason Games Played/Started: 0/0
Born: Belle Glade, FL

Highlights

Was named team captain on his HS football team
Posted 3rd best time in Florida in the 400-meter event in track while in HS
Led WVA in receiving yards as a junior
Ranked 2nd as a senior in receptions and receiving yards
Was a 2 year starter at WVA after playing for 2 community colleges his freshman and sophomore years

Statistics

High School Competed in both football and track


College


Year
Games
Receptions
Yards
Touchdowns
2008 (West Virginia)
13
35
466
6
2009 (West Virginia)
13
43
586
3


NFL



Year
Receptions
Yards
Average
Longest
TDs
2010
Rookie
No
NFL
Stats
Yet


Snapshots from Life

**Majored in Athletic Coaching Education

 


Eric_decker_medium
Eric Decker

#87 / Wide Receiver / Denver Broncos

6-3

220

Mar 15, 1987

Minnesota

No Information Available


The Basics

Acquired: 3rd Round (87th overall) 2010 Draft
Pro Year: 1st
Broncos Year: 1st
NFL Games Played/Started: 0/0
Postseason Games Played/Started: 0/0
Born: Cold Spring, MN

Highlights

Acclaimed by many scouts as being a premier pass receiver, with comparisons to Don Maynard and Raymond Berry
Is widely praised for having great hands, solid route running and a willingness to go after the ball in a crowd, as well as being a great blocker
Has been praised for his team first attitude and work ethic
Had only 3 drops (out of 354 targets and 227 catches)
Ranks 6th in Big 10 Conference history in receptions
Produced 1st downs on over 74% of his receptions
Converted 3rd Downs on 22% of his receptions
1st receiver in Minnesota history to have more than 200 career receptions (227)
1st player in Minnesota history to amass over 3000 receiving yards (3119)
29.5% of his catches led to his team going on to score
Has 30 TD catches in the Red Zone (16 came on goal line plays)
Red-shirted as a freshman in 2005


Statistics

High School Earned numerous HS awards; finished his career with 2156 yards and 28 touchdowns


College


Year
Games
Receptions
Yards
Touchdowns
2006
13
26
378
3
2007
13
67
909
9
2008
12
84
1074
7
2009
8
50
758
5


NFL



Year
Receptions
Yards
Average
Longest
TDs
2010
Rookie
No
NFL
Stats
Yet


Snapshots from Life

**Business and Marketing major

 


Patrick Honeycutt

#17 / Wide Receiver / Denver Broncos

5-9

172

Dec 30, 1986

Middle Tenn State

3 yr, $1.215 million, FA in 2013


The Basics

Acquired: College Free Agency, 2010
Pro Year: 1st
Broncos Year: 1st
NFL Games Played/Started: 0/0
Postseason Games Played/Started: 0/0
Born: Hoover, AL

Highlights

Was Red-shirted as a freshman in 2005
Missed the entire 2006 season with a knee injury
Ranked 4th in school history in receptions

Statistics

High School received numerous HS awards; was invited to play in the Max Emfinger All-American game


College


Year
Games
Receptions
Yards
Touchdowns
2007
12
28
328
1
2008
12
51
513
3
2009
12
37
420
4


NFL



Year
Receptions
Yards
Average
Longest
TDs
2010
Rookie
No
NFL
Stats
Yet


Snapshots from Life

**Majored in Construction Management Technology

 


Demaryius Thomas

#88 / Wide Receiver / Denver Broncos

6-3

229

Dec 25, 1987

Georgia Tech

No Information Available


The Basics

Acquired: 1st round (21st overall), 2010 Draft
Pro Year: 1st
Broncos Year: 1st
NFL Games Played/Started: 0/0
Postseason Games Played/Started: 0/0
Born:  Montrose, GA

Highlights

Nick-named "Bay-Bay"
Red-shirted as a freshman in 2006
Had string of 3 consecutive games with at least 1 TD catch of over 70 yards as a junior
His size and athletic ability created mismatches for many cornerbacks
In 2009, he accounted for 37 of the Yellow Jackets' 67 plays that went for 20 or more yards
His 1154 receiving yards in 2009 was the 2nd highest in school history
Turned down scholarship offers from Georgia and Duke
Earned first team All ACC honors in 2007 and again in 2009


Statistics

High School In his junior and senior years, compiled 88 catches for 1086 yards and 10 touchdowns; was ranked as the 58th-best WR in the country by Rivals.com


College


Year
Games
Receptions
Yards
Touchdowns
2007
13
35
558
4
2008
12
39
627
3
2009
14
46
1154
8


NFL



Year
Receptions
Yards
Average
Longest
TDs
2010
Rookie
No
NFL
Stats
Yet

Snapshots from Life
**Management major

 

While there are a lot of question marks here: Will the veterans step it up?  Are there rookies who will be able to have an immediate impact? And so on, there are equally reasons to be optimistic.  The body of work for both our veterans and our rookies are impressive across the board.   I am left with the feeling -- after compiling all of the information on this group of players -- that we are more likely to see them shine as a group as we are to having a single individual or two who stand out above the crowd.  The reports coming out of the OTAs would appear to support this claim, as it seems like every day there has been a different receiver who has shone.   I'm inclined to believe that come our season opener we will have a strong group of targets, enough different targets that it will become problematic for opposing defenses to decide who to focus upon.

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