DT had a breakout season. It marked the first as a pro at full strength. Perhaps even more impressive about all the targets that came his way was the fact that none of them resulted in an INT. Thomas was the deep threat and it seemed like at least once per game, he made a spectacular catch after Peyton would throw the ball up for him to go and get. 94 receptions, 1434 yards, and 10 TD's later, Optimus Prime was a pro bowl alternate.
Camp Outlook: No one will challenge DT on the outside.
As the other part of the duo that dubbed themselves "Black and Decker," Eric had every bit an impressive season as his counterpart. Decker caught 85 balls for 1,064 yards and 13 TD's. His toughness and grit showed in the redzone as he was one of Peyton's favorite targets near the goalline. If he can handle being married and his new reality TV show, ED should continue to grow as a pro in year 4.
Camp Outlook: Job security 100%
Perhaps the most intriguing signing of the offseason, the Broncos went out and simultaneously improved while making their chief AFC rival weaker. There's no doubt in my mind that losing Wes Welker hurt the Patriots immensely, even before their starting TE went out and decided to get involved in a murder charge. Welker won't see the type of targets he got in NE, but he will still be vitally important to the offense as defenses now have to decide which of the Broncos starting three receivers to bracket or double.
Camp Outlook: Slot machine CHA CHING!!!
Manning went to Duke and took DT, Decker, and Welker. Andre Caldwell felt disrespected. Guess what? 4th and 5th WR's in Manning offenses don't get much love. As the #4 last year Matt Willis saw a grand total of 22 targets or about one per game. In TC last year, Caldwell caught attention for his ability to stretch the defense, so his skillset is something the Broncos could definitely utilize. Here's hoping in year 2 that "Bubba" gets the mental aspect of the Manning offense down so he can play more of a role.
Camp Outlook: Likely in a battle with Greg Orton, Tavarres King, and Gerrell Robinson for two spots. Since King is all but assured a roster spot, that means those three are battling for one spot.
This Georgia Bulldog played in 56 career games in college. In total, King caught 21 TD passes and accumulated 2,602 receiving yards in college. His senior season saw Tavarres average an astonishing 22.6 yard receiving average. Leadership seems to be part of the young WR's makeup as he was one of the offensive captains for Georgia last year. In the 2012 Outback Bowl Tavarres set a Bulldogs single-game record with 205 receiving yards.
Camp Outlook: Lock, will need to nail down the mental aspects of the offense and refine his already good route running to sniff the field in 2013.
Greg spent 2012 on the Broncos practice squad. He stood out in OTA's and minicamps leading some to believe he is legitimately pushing Andre Caldwell for that 4th WR spot on the roster.
Camp Outlook: Orton is another big target that could prove a real asset down the line if he manages to make the team. Is still practice squad eligible.
Brock Osweiler has a favorite target, and his name is Gerrell Robinson. The former ASU sundevil and partner in crime with our young backup QB back in Phoenix presents an intriguing possibility in the future. His breakaway speed leaves something to be desired, but if he could continue to refine his route running ability, the connection he has with Brock might just keep him on the roster.
Camp Outlook: Battling with Orton and Caldwell for the final spot on the active roster, still practice squad eligible.
Bateman comes to us via New Mexico State where he played for two seasons. As a senior Kemonte put up 707 yards on 50 receptions to go along with 5 TD's.
Camp Outlook: Practice Squad Bound
A little guy, I could see him in the slot at some point. He made his bones in college primarily as a kick returner. He isn't as fast as Holliday and I don't see him unseating a guy who was so dynamic last year, but he should be interesting to watch
Camp Outlook: Practice Squad Bound
DT, Decker, Welker, Caldwell, King
That is the pecking order with Orton and Gerrell Robinson in the mix.