It was good to be a receiver for the Broncos during the 2013 season. With 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns to go around, not many felt left out. However, with extensive success comes expensive contracts. Eric Decker will likely depart in free agency. To keep this offensive juggernaut at it's high efficiency, the Broncos will have to find someone else. Fortunately for Denver, this draft is full of talent at the receiver position.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
6-5 - 240 pounds, 4.61 40 yard dash
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Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
6-1 - 212 pounds, 4.56 40 yard dash
Adams has been called "a poor man's Michael Crabtree." The comparison makes sense on a measurable level. Adams and Crabtree are the same height, similar in weight (212 to 214), and ran nearly identical 40 times (4.56 to 4.54). The difference lies in the playmaking abilities. Crabtree was special in college and many argue that Adams' insane production (233 catches for 3031 yards) was a product of the system. Adams ran a limited route tree and a large portion of yards came off of bubble screens and other quick hitting routes.
Outlook: Adams will most likely be late first round selection. A team looking to pair their young quarterback with a talented wide receiver will pull the trigger on Adams. The Broncos may be interested, but will most likely wait until a later round to pick up a wide receiver.
O'Dell Beckham Jr, WR, LSU
5-11 - 198 pounds, 4.43 40 yard dash
As dynamic as they come. O'Dell Beckham broke LSU's single-season all-purpose yardage record with an insane 2,315 yards. What do you want Beckham to do? He can catch, run, and return. Since Beckham is a dynamic returner, the team who drafts him should be able to get instant production out of him.
The team who drafts Beckham will get instant production form him, as he can be your returner when the season begins.
Beckham is fast, but not barn burning fast. His jaw-dropping moments come from his elusiveness and leaping ability. Beckham's highlight reel is littered with snatching balls high in the air and making defenders miss after the catch.
Outlook: A wildcard on draft day, but most likely a day two selection. A team looking to bolster their slot receiver position and add a returner would be wise to invest in Beckham. The Broncos will likely pass as they are set at slot receiver.
Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado
6-0 - 175 pounds, 4.40 40 yard dash
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Quick, fluid, and elusive. When healthy, Richardson was a force to be reckoned with at Colorado. Richardson shows natural ability for the position. This is obvious coming from his pedigree as his father was a NFL wide receiver. As a dynamic playmaker who shows a lot of intelligence, Richardson has the ability to change the game in a single play.
Size is Richardson's biggest issue. At Colorado, Richardson had a hard time staying healthy. When healthy he could be dominant, but still could be out-muscled by stronger players.
Outlook: As dynamic as Richardson is, he is a boom or bust prospect who could fall late into day three. The Broncos could be intrigued by Richardson's upside, but the Super Bowl window is closing. A player like Richardson would be a project, and it would be unlikely he would be able to contribute much in his rookie year.
Keep your eye on...
Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
6-3, 212 pounds - 4.46 40 yard dash
Jordan Matthews is the SEC all time leader in receptions (262) and in yards (3,759). Last season, Matthews accumulated 1,477 receiving yards; this was 50% of Vanderbilt's total passing production. Matthews is deceptively fast, being able to gain plenty of yards after the catch. With 21 bench reps on the bench press at the combine, Matthews proved he has the strength to back it up as well.
Despite having a good height, Matthews could stand to add some more weight to his frame. Even though Matthews can make a lot happen after he catches the ball, he doesn't do well at creating separation vertically.
Outlook: A day two selection. Matthews is a cousin of Jerry Rice, so hopefully that work ethic is in his DNA. Drawing comparisons to Eric Decker, the Broncos could be very interested. Matthews wouldn't require a first round pick, and may possibly be available in the third as well. It would not surprise me one bit if Matthews gets a call from a 303 number on the second day of the draft.