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Denver Broncos Countdown to Kickoff: Eric Decker - 14 Days

Two weeks now....Can't Wait!

Doug Pensinger

The Rankings

Overall rank (1-20)

Kyle Montgomery

Bronco Mike

Tim Lynch





Topher Doll

Big Pete

Mr. East

Brain Shrout

Jon Heath


19th N/A 11th
N/A 10th





From the Horses' Mouth

Bronco Mike

Decker did not make my top 20 because his biggest contributions last year came in the redzone. This year, I think Welker and Julius Thomas are going to eat away at those numbers. I also think of these things in terms of "What if?" When I ask myself "What if Decker went down, would our offense really struggle?" The answer is no. I think Demaryius and Welker are far more valuable than Decker at this point.

Jon Heath

If there's one guy that will be hurt (in terms of targets) due solely to the acquisition of Wes Welker, it's Eric Decker. Quarterback Peyton Manning is still going to have Demaryius Thomas as his go-to go. Thomas is, without a doubt, the most talented and most athlete receiver on the team. Then there's Welker, who will eat up a lot of targets from the slot and rising tight end Juluis Thomas, whom Manning will love in the red zone this fall. That cuts out a large chunk of the 123 targets Decker received last season. With that said, Decker is a valuable asset to Denver and makes them even more dangerous offensively. He's a piece of the puzzle, and when defenses are forced to try covering three pieces of that puzzle at the same time, somebody is going to get open. Have fun with that, NFL.

Kyle Montgomery

How in the world can any team justify saying their (arguably) THIRD wide receiver is their 14th most important player overall?

The 2013 Denver Broncos can.

The Broncos' strength is undoubtedly its pass offense, and that strength comes from their future Hall of Fame quarterback, and their versatility and talented depth at wide receiver. Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Wes Welker promise a three-pronged attach that will rival any passing offense in NFL history. The potential is that good. Without any one of these three pass-catching components, the Broncos will be just fine - in fact, they'll be great - but they won't be historic-potential good. They won't be as strong Super Bowl contenders, good enough to overcome the dips in defense they'll see this season. They won't be unstoppably dominant. With Eric Decker along with Thomas and Welker, they very well could be.

I had Decker listed 19th, but I can't really argue with this overall rating: Denver's passing attack is this important to the Broncos this season.

Ian Henson

Rod Smith was being interviewed by Tom Nalen and Gary Miller from 102.3 ESPN Denver yesterday and made an interesting point. His point was, now that Denver has Wes Welker, fans are likely to see more five to seven yard passes. He referred to it as fans often do as 'dink and dunk', before pointing out that a five to seven yard pass is just as good as a five to seven yard run. If every run that the Broncos had was five to seven yards, no one in the NFL could beat the team. Short passes also open up the long game, as well as the play action. So with that line of thinking, as well as the fact that it is a contract year for Decker, I would say that he is primed to blow up. Even more so than he did in 2012.

I had Decker listed as my 11th most important player for Denver.

Big "OMG what will he say next?" Pete

ED doesn't stand for... well, you know, it stands for Eric Decker baby!!! Ok ok ok, that's about as good as it gets for me with this guy. He's good, but not great. He can catch, but not always. He can run after the catch, but will occasionally tackle himself or slide like a QB in the middle of the field to avoid injury (defeatist attitude if you ask me). Anyways, this is way too high for him. Is he a good threat in our stacked offense? Yeah, but he isn't THE pass catching threat on offense. Hell, he might be #4 depending on how Julius Thomas pans out. DT is unquestionably the man, with Welker being who he is (which is a record setting WR) and Julius Thomas poised to be as unstoppable as a young Antonio Gates. Where does that leave Decker? It leaves him as still a really good #2 WR, but I expect his numbers to take a dive this year. There are just too many weapons for Manning to throw to without even mentioning our RB stable which looks like it'll be Moreno to start the season and Ball eventually taking over. Decker is good, but man, he isn't #14 good.

Notable Broncos to wear #14:

Brandon Stokley 2007-2009, 2012

Brian Griese 1998-2002

Current Bronco wearing #14: