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Welcome to "Wide Receiver Heaven"

Welcome to Wide Receiver Heaven, Mr. Sanders. Your football immortality awaits you. You are about to be plugged into the best roster spot a Free Agent Wide Receiver could hope to settle into. Gone are the days where your offense's first priority is to run the football. Where the QBs main goal is to avoid sacks and wait for a WR to get open in the passing game. Now you are part of a pass first offense that will move quickly, and the ball will be in your hands as soon as you get to your spot.

You are about to be a part of a special offense where you will be surrounded by elite players. You will have an elite QB throwing passes your way with pinpoint accuracy. You will be lining up across from an elite WR1, an elite slot WR, and an elite receiving TE. Oh and there is an elite Left Tackle that is coming back that will buy that elite QB more time to throw. Welcome Mr. Sanders to one on one coverages where defenses will have to focus all of their attention on everyone else.

And welcome to an offense where your QB will raise your game to its peak, like he has with so many other WR's before you.

Emmanual Sanders was one happy guy in his introductory press conference. And we can see why. He was hoping, waiting, for a call from the Denver Broncos. He knew that this was the ideal landing spot for his talents. So there was no need to even visit or hesitate when the Broncos showed interest. Go make it happen young fella. You are about to be a football household name. Peyton Manning will help you take your game to the next level.

That is, by the way, what Mr. Manning does best. He takes a WR, and helps elevate his game to reach his potential. He takes an average WR with potential, and helps him be productive. He takes a good WR with potential for greatness, and sends them to the Hall of Fame. Peyton has had a number of good WR's over the past decade. And they have thrived in his offense, and under his direction.

Back in the day, he was surrounded by first round draft picks. Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, and Dallas Clark. 3rd rounder Brandon Stokley was viewed as the best slot WR of all time by Peyton and the coaches at that time.

I found it interesting to note all of the Round one Draft picks of the last decade. Not all first rounders will succeed in the NFL obviously. But it was interesting to see how many names I didn't recognize.

2002 1 13 NOR Donte' Stallworth WR 2012 0 0 5 39 115 20 98 0 321 4837 35 Tennessee
2002 1 19 DEN Ashley Lelie WR 2008 0 0 4 35 107 20 172 0 217 3749 15 Hawaii
2002 1 20 GNB Javon Walker WR 2009 0 1 3 39 83 14 132 1 267 4011 31 Florida St.
2003 1 2 DET Charles Rogers WR 2005 0 0 0 4 15 2 17 0 36 440 4 Michigan St.
2003 1 3 HOU Andre Johnson WR 2013 2 7 10 90 154 23 54 0 927 12661 61 Miami (FL)
2003 1 17 ARI Bryant Johnson WR 2011 0 0 4 26 139 5 -8 0 314 3938 16 Penn St.

2004 1 3 ARI Larry Fitzgerald WR 2013 1 8 10 72 156 0 1 0 0 0 18 63 0 846 11367 87 Pittsburgh
2004 1 7 DET Roy Williams WR 2011 0 1 7 46 115 0 1 0 0 0 6 17 0 393 5715 44 Texas
2004 1 9 JAX Reggie Williams WR 2008 0 0 3 23 79 11 44 0 189 2322 18 Washington
2004 1 13 BUF Lee Evans WR 2011 0 0 7 48 117 0 1 0 0 0 10 145 0 381 6008 43 Wisconsin
2004 1 15 TAM Michael Clayton WR 2011 0 0 5 22 95 0 1 0 0 0 18 100 0 223 2955 10 LSU
2004 1 29 ATL Michael Jenkins WR 2012 0 0 5 39 130 2 4 0 354 4427 25 Ohio St.
2004 1 31 SFO Rashaun Woods WR 2004 0 0 0 1 14 7 160 1 Oklahoma St.
2005 1 3 CLE Braylon Edwards WR 2012 0 1 5 49 112 0 1 0 0 0 4 11 0 359 5522 40 Michigan
2005 1 7 MIN Troy Williamson WR 2009 0 0 1 8 49 6 58 0 87 1131 4 South Carolina
2005 1 10 DET Mike Williams WR 2011 0 0 2 13 56 1 0 0 127 1526 5 USC
2005 1 21 JAX Matt Jones WR 2008 0 0 1 22 54 2 3 12 0 0 14 36 0 166 2153 15 Arkansas
2005 1 22 BAL Mark Clayton WR 2011 0 0 5 27 83 2 5 32 1 0 26 118 2 260 3448 14 Oklahoma
2005 1 27 ATL Roddy White WR 2013 1 4 8 81 141 9 19 0 685 9436 55 Ala-Birmingham
2006 1 25 PIT Santonio Holmes WR 2013 0 0 6 47 103 0 1 0 0 0 16 89 0 381 5963 36 Ohio St.
2007 1 2 DET Calvin Johnson WR 2013 3 4 7 65 106 19 167 1 572 9328 66 Georgia Tech
2007 1 9 MIA Ted Ginn WR 2013 0 0 3 28 104 31 239 2 197 2604 11 Ohio St.
2007 1 23 KAN Dwayne Bowe WR 2013 0 1 7 43 103 2 16 0 472 6401 44 LSU
2007 1 27 NOR Robert Meachem WR 2013 0 0 0 26 92 18 127 1 171 2800 27 Tennessee
2007 1 30 SDG Craig Davis WR 2010 0 0 0 7 26 4 13 0 51 558 2 LSU
2007 1 32 IND Anthony Gonzalez WR 2011 0 0 1 16 40 99 1307 7 Ohio St.

2009 1 7 OAK Darrius Heyward-Bey WR 2013 0 0 5 19 72 11 109 0 169 2380 12 Maryland
2009 1 10 SFO Michael Crabtree WR 2013 0 0 4 31 63 2 14 0 279 3629 22 Texas Tech
2009 1 19 PHI Jeremy Maclin WR 2013 0 0 4 27 59 6 30 0 258 3453 26 Missouri
2009 1 22 MIN Percy Harvin WR 2013 0 1 2 39 55 107 683 4 281 3319 20 Florida
2009 1 29 NYG Hakeem Nicks WR 2013 0 0 4 36 70 2 8 0 311 4622 27 North Carolina
2009 1 30 TEN Kenny Britt WR 2013 0 0 3 21 57 157 2450 19 Rutgers
2010 1 22 DEN Demaryius Thomas WR 2013 0 2 2 32 53 0 1 0 0 0 3 6 0 240 3698 30 Georgia Tech
2010 1 24 DAL Dez Bryant WR 2013 0 1 3 36 59 5 1 0 293 4104 40 Oklahoma St.
2011 1 4 CIN A.J. Green WR 2013 0 3 3 34 47 9 91 0 260 3833 29 Georgia
2011 1 6 ATL Julio Jones WR 2013 0 1 3 27 34 13 93 0 174 2737 20 Alabama
2011 1 26 KAN Jonathan Baldwin WR 2013 0 0 0 4 33 44 607 2 Pittsburgh
2012 1 5 JAX Justin Blackmon WR 2013 0 0 1 9 20 3 22 0 93 1280 6 Oklahoma St.
2012 1 13 ARI Michael Floyd WR 2013 0 0 1 11 32 110 1603 7 Notre Dame
2012 1 20 TEN Kendall Wright WR 2013 0 0 1 14 31 1 4 0 158 1705 6 Baylor
2012 1 30 SFO A.J. Jenkins WR 2013 0 0 0 1 19 2 6 0 8 130 0 Illinois
2013 1 8 STL Tavon Austin WR 2013 0 0 0 6 13 0 1 0 0 0 9 151 1 40 418 4 West Virginia
2013 1 27 HOU DeAndre Hopkins WR 2013 0 0 1 5 16 52 802 2 Clemson
2013 1 29 MIN Cordarrelle Patterson WR 2013 1 1 0 8 16 12 158 3 45 469 4 Tennessee

1996 1 1 NYJ Keyshawn Johnson WR 2006 0 3 11 78 167 0 5 0 0 2 13 91 2 814 10571 64 USC
1996 1 7 NWE Terry Glenn WR 2007 0 1 9 67 137 0 2 0 0 0 20 139 1 593 8823 44 Ohio St.
1996 1 18 STL Eddie Kennison WR 2008 0 0 12 73 179 0 0 0 0 0 39 282 0 548 8345 42 LSU
1996 1 19 IND Marvin Harrison WR 2008 3 8 12 124 190 10 28 0 1102 14580 128 Syracuse
1996 1 24 BUF Eric Moulds WR 2007 0 3 11 76 186 29 163 0 764 9995 49 Mississippi St.
2001 1 8 CHI David Terrell WR 2005 0 0 1 11 54 4 14 0 128 1602 9 Michigan
2001 1 9 SEA Koren Robinson WR 2008 0 1 4 35 96 23 115 1 294 4244 16 North Carolina St.
2001 1 15 WAS Rod Gardner WR 2006 0 0 4 27 90 2 7 46 2 0 5 24 0 242 3165 23 Clemson
2001 1 16 NYJ Santana Moss WR 2013 0 1 9 72 187 51 287 0 722 10167 66 Miami (FL)
2001 1 25 PHI Freddie Mitchell WR 2004 0 0 1 13 63 1 3 25 1 0 2 -4 0 90 1263 5 UCLA
2001 1 30 IND Reggie Wayne WR 2013 1 6 13 115 196 0 1 0 0 1 4 0 0 1006 13566 80 Miami (FL)

Marvin Harrison was a mid first round pick. There were three players picked before him. Reggie Wayne was selected in the late first as the sixth WR taken. Both were annual pro bowlers as Colts.

So Peyton was surrounded by talent. But he really helped those guys maximize their skills. Not every first round player becomes a pro bowl hall of famer.

But not long after that, the talent declined around him. The offensive line in front of him was weakend. Marvin Harrison was replaced by 6th round prospect with potential, Pierre Garcon, for example. Here was a draft profile:

POSITIVES: Nice size possession wide out with a nice feel for the position. Displays good vision, effectively works the zones of the defense and finds the open spot on the field. Extends to make the reception away from his frame, displays outstanding eye/hand coordination and adjusts to catch the errant throw. Plays with balance, body control and effectively uses the sidelines.

NEGATIVES: One speed receiver who lacks the second gear. Gathers into routes displaying choppy footwork and not quick exiting breaks.

ANALYSIS: Garcon has been ultra-productive on the small school level and could find a home in the NFL as a fifth receiver. He was also effective returning kicks early in his college career, which gives him added value at the next level. PROJECTION: Early Sixth Round

After his stint with the Colts, Garçon was given a 5 year/42.5 million dollar contract by the Washington Redskins to be their number one WR and has done a solid job.

Brandon Stokley was replaced by Austin Collie, a solid prospect taken in the fourth round. He was well on his way to a 1,000 yard season before injuries took him in 2010. His replacement, Undrafted Free Agent Blair White, combined with Austin for over 1,000 yards receiving that year.

Jacob Tamme took over that year for injured Dallas Clark. Tamme was a fourth round prospect. He was paid by the Broncos to come over with Peyton two years ago on a 3 year, 10 million dollar contract

And we have seen similar development here in Denver. Demaryius Thomas was a very talented WR, but raw. Some doubted if he would fit with the style of offense that Peyton would run. Eric Decker was a solid, but not elite, prospect, who has been an awesome Robin for Batman. We have seen DT go from a raw talent, to a top 5 WR in the league. We saw Eric Decker as a solid WR with potential, become one of the best #2 WR's in the league. He is getting paid 7 million dollars a year to play with Rexy over in New York.

Julius Thomas was a very raw player with little football experience. He thrived in the practice fields of preseason workouts, but never did that come to fruition on the field. With health and Peyton Manning, he is well on his way to being another Jimmy Graham.

Peyton is not the only one to help his WR's develop. Other good QB's make there WR's shine. Wes Welker was undrafted. He was a stud in NE, and a stud in Denver last year. He was replaced with similar production by a seventh round player in Julian Edelman. Marques Colstson was a 7th rounder. Victor Cruz, another undrafted diamond in the rough, is getting paid as a number one WR for the GMen.

With Peyton Manning, his WR's have always played up to their potential. Not one WR has been put in the starting rotation and failed with him. The offense not only gives players the opportunity to shine. But Peyton's tireless work ethic rubs off and helps refine WR skills. They become better route runners. They learn to read a defense more effectively. They enhance their ability to catch a football. Backups become quality starters. Quality starters put up upper echelon numbers. Talented players become pro bowlers.

It's the reason I don't particularly care for 12 million dollars being spent this year towards Welker and Sanders. I think that younger, cheaper WR's could be developed and utilized. Also paving the way for when the OZ rises to power.

But with that being said, I am excited for another potent offensive attack this year. Julius Thomas has another year under his belt. He was like a rookie last year. Virgil Green may be utilized a little more. He is an ultra gifted athlete himself. Demaryius Thomas is now entering his 3rd season with Peyton, on a contract year. Welker reads a defense like a QB. Yes Decker will be missed. Especially in the red zone. And at the beginning of the season. That can't be understated.

But with the signing of Emmanual Sanders, you have a guy with more speed, (4.4 40), versatility, (Plays inside and out), and elusiveness,(smaller and shifter). As the season goes on, he will get more acclimated to the offense. And his game will no doubt benefit from playing with number 18. This offense can be scary good again.

Welcome to Wide Receiver heaven Emmanuel. Enter the pearly gates of Mile High Stadium. May it be heaven for all of Broncoland. And hell for the rest of the NFL.

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

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