Denver Broncos 2013 Pre-Draft Position Breakdown: WR's and TE's

Doug Pensinger

Leading up to the draft, I will evaluate the current Broncos offensive roster. I will break down QB's, RB's, WR's/TE's, and OL individually and devote a write up to each position group. Scotty Payne will be taking on the defense. By the time the draft comes, you should have a good idea where the Broncos might be looking to add quality starters or necessary depth to round out a very talented roster.

I will present information on each player as it relates to their:

1) Contract
2) 2012 Production
3) Likely place on 2013 Depth Chart/Roles

The goal will be to determine what potential holes the Broncos need to fill on the current roster and whether or not that position group has a low, moderate, or high need heading into the 2013 NFL Draft. Next up are the Receivers and Tight Ends.

If you've missed previous breakdowns, check them out:

Quarterback

Running Back

Offensive Line

The Broncos currently have 5 WR's and 4 TE's under contract for 2013. Demayius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Andre Caldwell, and Trindon Holliday round out the receivers while Jacob Tamme, Joel Dreessen, Virgil Green, and Julius Thomas round out the TE's.

Contracts

(All information via Spotrac)

Player

Pos

Draft Position

Length

Max Amount

Terms

UFA

2013 Cap Hit

2013 Dead $

2014 Cap Hit

2014 Dead $

Tamme

TE

127thoverall

2008

3 yrs

9 million

3.5 million guaranteed

2015

3.458 million

1.666 million

3.833 million

none

Dreessen

TE

198th overall

2005

3 yrs

8.5 million

2.5 million signing bonus

2015

3.333 million

1.666 million

3.33 million

none

Green

TE

204th overall

2011

4 yrs

2.109 million

69 K signing bonus

2015

572 K

34 K

662 K

none

J. Thomas

TE

129TH overall

2011

4 yrs

2.42 million

384 K signing bonus

2015

651 K

192 K

741 K

None

D. Thomas

WR

22nd overall

2010

5 yrs

14.15 million

9.35 million guaranteed

6.375 million signing bonus, 3.45 million incentives

2015

2.43 million

3.187 million

4.868 million

None

W. Welker

WR

UDFA

2 yrs

12 million

10 million guaranteed

(6 million base plus roster bonus)

150 K for 90+ receptions,

3 million roster bonus 2014

2015

6 million

6 million

6 million

None

E. Decker

WR

87th overall 2010

4 yrs

3.315 million

732 K signing bonus

2.3 million incentives

2014

1.506 million

183 K

N/A

N/A

A. Caldwell

WR

97th overall

2008

2 yrs

1.8 million

200 K signing bonus

2014

900 K

None

N/A

N/A

T. Holliday

WR

197th overall

2010

2 yrs

870 K

None

2014 ERFA

480 K

None

N/A

N/A

- Every one of our TE's is locked up until 2015. Tamme and Dreessen have the higher cap hits, but combined among 4 players, the cap hit for 2013 will be a shade over 8 million. Not bad, especially when at least 3 figure to play a valuable role in the Broncos offense.

- Thomas and Decker will be tied up until 2015. After this year however, they will be the only two WR's with a contract as Decker and Caldwell will be UFA. Holliday will be an ERFA in 2014.

- Next year these 5 players will count a total of about 11.4 million against the cap with Welker's 6 million dollar figure taking up the biggest chunk.

- The next two years will be very interesting with these position groups and all the guys who's contracts will be up.

Production

(Some of these numbers are Pro Football Focus Rankings and Metrics)

Player

Snaps

Overall

Rank

Pass

Pass Block

Run Block

Penalty

Dreessen

877

6.9

14th

-0.7

6.4

-0.8

2.0

Tamme

547

10.5

8th

8.7

2.7

-2.4

1.5

Green

179

2.6

31st

1.2

-1.3

1.8

0.9

J. Thomas

0

---

---

---

---

---

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- Dreessen had the most snaps and is a more well rounded player than Tamme. With Dreessen in the game, the Broncos can run or pass. With Tamme in there, it is almost certain they will pass.

- Both starting TE's rank pretty high overall. Run blocking was a moderate issue for everyone except Virgil Green who excels at it.

- Both Dreessen and Tamme are in the black when it comes to pass blocking.

- Julius Thomas was a healthy scratch all season long.

Player

Snaps

Overall

Rank

Pass

Blocking

Penalty

D. Thomas

1046

27.2

2nd

19.3

4.8

3.1

Welker

1089

14.1

12th

9.8

0.7

3.0

Decker

1074

7.4

36th

7.1

1.3

-1.0

Caldwell

76

-0.2

112th

-0.6

0.3

-0.1

Holliday

7

0.3

98th

0.3

0.0

0.0

- Our 3 WR sets next year project to be plentiful. Thomas, Welker, and Decker all are used to playing a high number of snaps.

- DT ranked only behind Andre Johnson in PFF WR rankings. He also graded out as the best blocker of the bunch.

- Holliday is listed as a WR though most of the time he was flexed into patterns out of the backfield. I would really only count 4 deep at this position group.

Player

T

Rec

Drops

Drop %

YDS

AVG

YAC

1st

TD

INT

WR Rating*

D. Thomas

138

94

11

7.9

1430

15.2

512

60

10

0

126.2

Welker

166

118

15

9.0

1354

11.5

619

72

6

2

102.3

Decker

120

85

12

10.0

1064

12.5

267

52

13

3

123.7

Caldwell

4

1

1

25.0

18

18.0

?

1

0

0

45.8

Holliday

2

2

0

0.0

17

8.5

?

1

0

0

102.1

Dreessen

58

41

3

5.2

356

8.7

147

19

5

0

115.3

Tamme

85

52

1

1.2

555

10.7

215

29

2

2

78.3

Green

6

5

0

0.0

63

10.3

45

4

0

0

110.4

* This is the QB rating when this WR is targeted.

Targets

- Welker received the most attention, but we all know that's because Tom Brady likes his security blanket.

- Think of Dreessen and Tamme as a tandem, then combine their production. 93 receptions from the TE position to go along with their 143 targets tells you how important they are. With Welker's acquisition you might see a dip as all three will work the short and intermediate areas of the field and over the middle.

Drops

- No worries from the TE's, excellent here.

- Our top three WR's dropped 38 of their 424 targets (8.9%). All three have struggled at times with this.

Yards/Average

- Impressive averages from the WR trio, in fact throw Tamme in there and you have three guys that can stretch the defense vertically and one that can dominate underneath.

- Decker doesn't have a lot of YAC. Welker and Thomas do. With Welker, his speed over the middle is his biggest asset with Thomas his size allows him to break tackles and milk more out of his opportunities.

The Rest

- Welker's role in the NE offense was to move the chains. 43% of his targets went for 1st downs.

- With Decker and Dreessen, they seemed to be the ones Peyton targeted in the redzone. They both have more TD's then their more productive counterparts.

- When targeted no pass to DT or Dreessen was intercepted.

- Decker and Thomas have ridiculous ratings. In fact all the major contributors are really good....with the exception of Tamme. That is on Manning, the INT's I saw to both him and Decker were bad throws into good coverage.

2013 Depth Chart and Roles: TE

There should be no change here. This is a solid group. The only difference might be Julius Thomas. The Broncos have no need to cut him or draft another TE, but he seemed to take a step backward last year. One guy I want to see more of is Virgil Green. He and Dreessen are the more well rounded players that can make impacts in the running game and passing game. I see Tamme more as a flex player who is as skilled as a WR in route running--this is what J. Thomas should become and perhaps that is what they envisioned when they drafted him.

Starters: Dreessen, Tamme

Backup: Virgil Green

Who Knows? Julius Thomas

2013 Draft Need: LOW

2013 Depth Chart and Roles: WR

We are essentially 4 deep here. Thomas is your #1, Decker your #2, and Welker your slot machine. Those three are really awesome, but if an injury occurs what then? Caldwell with his speed could fill in on the outside, I'm just not sure about his precise route running when it comes to the slot. Decker has played from the slot at times so you could see situations when this occurs. With only Welker and DT locked up after this year however, the Broncos would do well to draft another weapon to groom.

2013 Draft Need: HIGH

Well there you have my roster breakdown with the Denver Broncos Offense. As a tag along to this series, I will sum up my thoughts and provide a projected depth chart heading into TC as well as list the needs I see going into the Draft. Until then, discuss and debate, GO BRONCOS!!!

DON'T FORGET TO SEND YOUR MAIL BAG QUESTIONS TO ME!!!

broncomike251@gmail.com

@Bronco_Mike251

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