With the end of the 2017 season, the Denver Broncos can finally focus on free agency and the 2018 NFL Draft. However, the last game of the season was strangely bittersweet. The sweetness came in the form of De’Angelo Henderson and DeMarcus Walker. The bitter comes from having to wait until Week 17.
As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the MHR Radio postgame recap, Henderson and Walker both shined during the last game of the season. It leads to questions about both players. First, why didn’t Vance Joseph ever give Henderson a chance? Second, why was Walker never utilized in his natural position?
Henderson has a ton of talent. His skill set seems well suited to the NFL. He is explosive, and elusive. His touchdown catch was a perfect example of his potential. It was also an indictment of Joseph’s decision making.
The fact the DeAngelo Henderson just came in and broke tackles for a TD in his first real opportunity is another failure on this coaching staff. Shame!— Zach Bye (@byesline) December 31, 2017
While Isaiah McKenzie continued to be trotted out there to fumble punts, Henderson was passed over every week. It certainly should cause concern about what decisions Joseph might make in the future.
Looking at Walker, it has been clear all season that he was never utilized the way he should have been. Drafted in the second round as an interior defensive lineman, the Broncos tried to convert him to an edge rusher. His play against the Kansas City Chiefs showed that was a huge mistake. His 3 tackles, and 1 sack don’t do his game justice.
He was disruptive. He harassed Patrick Mahomes. It was great to see, except that it took 17 weeks for Vance Joseph to get that right.
Perhaps 2018 will be an opportunity for Broncos Country to see Henderson and Walker get more playing time. That may all depend on how much we are seeing of Vance Joseph.