Good morning, Broncos Country.
There weren't many positives in regard to the Denver Broncos' offense in 2016. Overall, they ranked 22nd in points scored and a lowly 27th in respect to yards per game. The offensive line struggled all year long, the rushing game was missing in action and the team struggled mightily on third downs the entire season.
Another factor, often overlooked in the Broncos' woes on offense was the lack of production at the wide receiver position. According to ESPN's Jeff Legwold, the Broncos were the only team in the NFL in 2016 to have just two players accumulate more than 300 yards receiving. Of course, those players would be Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
The two aforementioned players are one of the NFL's most dynamic receiving duos. They recently became the seventh duo in NFL history to record three consecutive seasons of 1,000 yards or more, and could very well tie the record held by former Minnesota Vikings receivers Cris Carter and Jake Reed next season.
It's safe to say that the Broncos desperately need to upgrade the wide receiver position in 2017. I'm not so sure the Broncos would be big spenders at the position in free agency (considering the amount of money they have invested in Thomas and Sanders), but if Kyle Shanahan is named head coach, I wouldn't be surprised to see him bring in Taylor Gabriel, who knows his offense and impressed as the season endured for the Falcons.
Cody Latimer, Jordan Norwood and Bennie Fowler failed to impress with the wealth of opportunities given to them this past season. Fowler had some key drops, Norwood was unimpressive in the slot and had issues on special teams and Latimer has never panned out after the Broncos moved up to select him in the second round several years ago. Their production was unimpressive, and I wouldn't bank on any of them being sure-fire bets to return to the squad next season.
Jordan Taylor may develop into a red zone and possession threat for the team, but the franchise could sure use a dynamic player at the slot position who can help them improve their third down efficiency and be a safety valve for either Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch.
With such uncertainty at the position, the Broncos would be wise to invest a second day or early third day selection on a wide receiver in the 2017 NFL Draft to bolster their talent at wide receiver. It is a strong class with a lot of versatile players, and it would be foolish for them to ignore the myriad of options available to them.
Who are some of your favorite prospects at wide receiver in the NFL Draft? Be sure to talk about them in the comments section!
As always, thank you for reading and here is today's offering of Horse Tracks.
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