Wide Receiver Math

My math lesson today will deal with two common issues relating to our receiving corps -- Loss of Brandon Marshall and who will get cut.

Is Bandon Marshall’s Departure Insurmountable?

It is a common rhetorical question in the MSM (and to a lesser extent MHR) that asks how can the Broncos withstand the loss of Brandon Marshall and his 101 catches?


The simple answer is easy.  This is not to say that BM is not talented because he is very talented.  However, I believe that his numbers will be easily replaced and will make our offense much more dangerous and less predictable.  Look at the numbers of our top four receivers in 2009:



Thrown to

Catches/throw (%)

Yards per catch

Catches for 1st down

1st Down/Catch (%)

Brandon Marshall







Jabar Gaffney







Eddie Royal







Brandon Stokely








Here are the things that jump out at me:

·       Our targets to Marshall were way out of whack in an unhealthy way.

·       Marshall did a better job than most in catching balls thrown to him.

·       Marshall caught many balls short of the 1st down marker and was unable to convert.

·       Stokely is a stud on 3rd down but only once per game.

The question is not can we replace Marshall’s 101 catches, but can our top three receivers in 2010 match or exceed the production of our top three receivers in 2009?  Our top three receivers in 2009 caught 193 balls.  A more even distribution amongst the receivers in 2010 to match this production would be 75-65-60.  This looks pretty manageable to me.  Gaffney can catch 75 balls as the primary receiver.  Lloyd/Bay Bay (Lloyd starts the season and Bay Bay takes over at some point) can catch 65 balls from the number two WR spot.  Eddie can easily catch 60 passes from the slot and potentially many more if he assumes the Wes Welker role.  Couple this with the added depth and talent available with Decker and Willis in the wings and I see the loss of Marshall as easily overcome.

Who Gets Cut?

One of the more intriguing questions in camp is who will make the final roster as a WR. 

The Locks are Gaffney, Royal, Bay Bay, and Decker (unless he is put on IR). 

So, assuming Decker is not placed on IR and the Broncos only keep 6 WRs, who makes the cut amongst Willis, Stokely and Lloyd?

As long as he keeps his momentum going and plays solidly in the preseason, I think Willis is close to being a lock because of his special teams play, particularly as a gunner.  His biggest risk of being cut is that he has practice squad eligibility.

Therefore, the veterans are on the block.  Stokely v. Lloyd.  Who prevails?

To me the answer depends on the development of Bay Bay.  If Bay Bay progresses to the point that he is ready to start as our number two receiver, then I think that Lloyd will be cut and Stokely will survive for his ability in the clutch. 

If Bay Bay is not ready for prime time at the beginning of the season, then I think that Lloyd makes the team and starts until Bay Bay is ready.  Stokely then becomes trade bait (Redskins anybody?). 

There it is.  Clear as mud.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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