A year ago, the Denver Broncos' wide receiver position looked like it was leaking talent, and it actually was. The Broncos got rid of Jabar Gaffney for Jeremy Jarmon, a player who was cut and recently signed to a future/reserve contract.
The Broncos also traded away Brandon Lloyd for a fifth round pick, which isn't nothing, but it's close to it.
This team was satisfied enough with their depth at receiver to make moves, and it almost got them in serious trouble early in the season. With Lloyd out injured and Demaryius Thomas on the PUP, Eddie Royal got hurt and we saw Tim Tebow throw on a pair of gloves and play receiver.
Denver has had depth issues at receiver all year, depth issues that didn't reach the surface in the team's mid-season winning streak. Now, in the playoffs, with only four active receivers the Broncos lost another in second year player Eric Decker to a sprained MCL against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, and they have promoted rookie D'Andre Goodwin to the active roster.
Goodwin was with the Broncos in training camp as an undrafted free agent, and was cut when the team went down to the final 53. They re-signed him to the practice squad when a spot opened up, and he might be forced into significant action on Saturday night against the New England Patriots.
The Broncos have gotten great production in recent months from new number one receiver Demaryius Thomas, who had the game-winner against Pittsburgh. They also got some much needed production from Eddie Royal, who made arguably his best and most clutch catch as a Bronco against Pittsburgh.
One player who has really disappointed in recent weeks is second year Bronco Matt Willis, who looked great in the 2010 pre-season but has not been able to re-kindle that chemistry with Tim Tebow.
Enter Goodwin, who nobody has any tape on. This is a guy who had injuries and a poor junior season at Washington, only to bounce back with one of his best college seasons as a senior. Here is a "Bio Blast," if you will, of Goodwin.
- High School Class of 2006, 2 star CB prospect on Rivals.com out of Lancaster, CA
- Spent five years with the Washington Huskies (RS as true freshman)
- Career-high 60 receptions in 2008
- Career-high four TD receptions in 2010
- Part of a UW team that went 0-12 in 2008 as well as Holiday Bowl Champion team in 2010
- Undrafted Free Agent signed by Denver Broncos
- Ran a 4.37 40 yard dash at his pro day
- 5'11" 188 pounds
- 18 reps of 225 on bench press
- 32" vertical jump, 9'11" broad jump
- 6.66 three-cone drill (same time as Tim Tebow)
The Broncos are going to need some kind of impact from Goodwin on Saturday night. I will be shocked if they go into this game without making him active, despite the fact that he's arguably the most inexperienced player on the team. Now, he is going to have to help the Broncos' offense keep pace with Tom Brady and the Patriots.
His last meaningful catch in the NFL was in the pre-season for the Broncos, where he caught three passes for 49 yards in a loss to Arizona.