To get an idea of how good Courtland Sutton’s hands are: he doesn’t need a fishing pole when he fishes.
I’d say those are some pretty good hands. If he can flash similar traits on the field for the Denver Broncos, Case Keenum will have a heckuva weapon to throw to. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound receiver from SMU was Denver’s second-round pick in the NFL Draft on Friday.
The Broncos offense now has Sutton on one side with Demaryius Thomas on the other and speedster Emmanuel Sanders perhaps in the slot. There’s also tight end Jake Butt and Carlos Henderson, from last year’s draft, in the mix. What should excite fans about the selection of Sutton is what it could mean for the offense in the red zone. Last season the Broncos were 32nd in red-zone efficiency. There are only 32 teams in the NFL.
As with any pick in every draft, there is always hope and, as John Elway tweeted, “tremendous upside.” Whether that turns out remains to be seen. This SB Nation story on Sutton sees a player in the mold of Kenny Britt. I see a receiver in the mold of Thomas. Scotty sees Alshon Jeffery. Either mold works for me and the Broncos. Sutton gives playmaking, size and radius to this offense. As Mike Mayock said on NFL Network after the pick was announced, Sutton is also incredibly smooth. Oh, and he’s hella fast. As Andrew Mason said on Twitter, Sutton is one of the quickest receivers in this draft class -- posted top-five times among combine receivers in the three-cone and short-shuttle drills.
If you haven’t seen his one-handed catches, it’s insane. Sutton’s hands aren’t the question. The question is how he gets off coverage. If he can get coaching in that regard, Sutton has the, gasp, potential, to be a special player. For what it’s worth, some had a first-round grade on Sutton, and Denver got him in the second round.
If you were looking for playmakers in this draft, Elway and the Broncos have done their part through the first two picks. As for the selection of Bradley Chubb, celebrate that selection with this awesome vintage shirt celebrating the Orange Rush Denver has with him, Von Miller, Shaquil Barrett and Shane Ray.
And remember: If you happen to go fishing with Sutton, you only need one pole.
If you are as excited as I am about the new #Broncos pass rush with @VonMiller and @astronaut, this might be the best way to show it. The AFC West better get ready for a little #OrangeRush!https://t.co/pmgc2bHH7B— Adam Malnati (@AdamMalnati16) April 28, 2018
With the first of their two third-round picks, Elway and the Broncos took the running back from Oregon. Freeman is the Pac-12’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (60) and is second all-time in Pac-12 rushing yards (5,621). That number also places him sixth on the NCAA all-time rushing list.
I was stoked about this pick when it was announced, and he should challenge Devontae Booker as the starter, but Bucky Brooks solidified it. Chew on this: Freeman ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash and he weighs 230 pounds.
The biggest concern with Freeman is the carries he had with the Ducks. As a running back, he has a lot of tread on the tires, as the cliche goes. But as Elway said after the second day, it also shows he’s durable. In a backfield with two other running backs (the other being De’Angelo Henderson), he won’t be asked to get the bulk of the carries in this offense.
The other aspect that Freeman brings is a great attitude.
As he told the media after his selection, “I want to be good at a lot of things. I want to be versatile. That doesn’t put any limits on me as a running back.”
This pick should excite Broncos fans, and it ties in with the picks of Chubb and Sutton. As Hart said in our staff chat after the pick, “We went from a Ford Focus to a Rolls Royce!”
Royce Freeman could be one of the draft's biggest surprises when we see him suit up for the @Broncos . We always talk about finding quality RBs in the 2nd- and 3rd round. Freeman could be the Day 2 RB that we talk about at the end of the season like Hunt/Kamara #NFLDraft— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) April 28, 2018
The senior cornerback from Boston College adds depth, and, right on cue, huge potential. He has the size, athleticism and length that fits Denver’s mold of cornerbacks. As the story from HogsHeaven said, Yiadom is also aggressive and attacks the catch point. He is a smart player and he’s a solid tackler. As of now, Yiadom will probably see the crux of his time on special teams. Perhaps the best comparison for Yiadom is to Kayvon Webster.
The story from above says Yiadom has iffy ball skills, needs to get more physical at the line of scrimmage and not allow so much space between himself and the receiver, and needs to get off blocks downfield.
One of the reasons the Broncos made this selection is they coached him at the Senior Bowl where he covered everything. With good coaching and development, Yiadom could add great depth in the defensive backfield. As it stands, he will need work to get to that point. We do know he’ll get the mentorship from guys like Chris Harris Jr. and Bradley Roby.
After the first two days of the draft, Broncos fans should feel excitement over the new additions. Elway and Denver had a pretty damn good Day Two.