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Broncos roster review: Rookie receiver Kendall Hinton

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Hinton is in a crowded receiver room with steep odds to make the roster. As an undrafted free agent, the likely scenario is he joins the practice squad to further develop.

Wake Forest v Virginia Tech Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

When Kendall Hinton first arrived at Wake Forest, he was a quarterback.

He’s now a member of the Denver Broncos as an undrafted receiver and one of the most fascinating players to keep an eye on as we head toward the 2020 NFL season.

#2 Kendall Hinton, WR
Age 23. 6’0”, 195 lbs.
College: Wake Forest

Hinton faces incredible odds to make the Broncos roster given the crowded receiver room he’s now in. But a competitive drive paired with natural ability and a quick learning curve could benefit him as it did his senior year at Wake Forest.

The Good

In his lone season as a starting receiver for the Demon Deacons, Hinton finished with 73 catches for 1,001 yards and four touchdowns.

As Lance Zierlein pointed out in his NFL draft profile on Hinton:

“... it’s worth noting that improvements could be seen in his route running by midseason and he possesses natural ball-winning skills that should help him in his process.”

The fact Hinton was able to pick up on the position so quickly and make those kind of strides, while still being productive, show why John Elway and Vic Fangio signed him as an undrafted free agent.

It also shows Hinton puts in the work to get better.

Those are the traits teams love to have in prospects.

It also doesn’t hurt Hinton has a ton of natural ability.

That’s what makes him so fascinating as a prospect. Hinton is one of those low-risk, high reward type of players. If he’s able to continue the kind of development he showed his senior year, Hinton will make Denver’s decision on what to do with him that much tougher. The problem is, there aren’t enough spots for all of the receivers the Broncos now have.

The Bad

You know three of the, let’s say, six receiver spots are taken. If Denver keeps five, it’s near impossible for Hinton to make his way on the roster as a receiver.

Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler are locks — unless there’s an injury or something bizarre happens. That leaves DaeSean Hamilton, Tim Patrick, Juwann Winfree, Tyrie Cleveland, Zimari Manning and Hinton. I’m sure I missed one given how many dang receivers Pat Shurmur and Drew Lock now have.

The other factor that could hurt Hinton is his lack of experience. Elway and Fangio won’t give a roster spot to a developmental project who can’t contribute.

Some of Hinton’s other weaknesses, according to Zierlein’s profile:

  • Route running is full of tells defenders can pick up on
  • Upright with inefficient footwork into breaks
  • Catch focus and consistency will need work
  • Needs to play with much greater physicality inside the route

Final Word

As noted earlier, Hinton is one of those low-risk, high-reward players for the Broncos.

He’s shown a quick learning curve, competitive drive and natural ability while also being incredibly productive in his lone season as a starting receiver for Wake Forest. But Hinton must continue to develop and learn.

That’s why the most likely scenario is he makes his way onto the practice squad in 2020. There just aren’t enough receiver spots to begin with, let alone one for a player who needs that kind of time ... no matter how fascinating of a prospect he is.

One way Hinton could find his way onto the Broncos’ roster is special teams. Hinton has experience as a returner and that’s where he could flash his ball skills and speed. If he’s able to show his value there and make plays as a returner, it might open an opportunity for him at receiver.

Poll

Will Kendall Hinton make the Broncos roster for 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Yes
    (52 votes)
  • 89%
    No
    (467 votes)
519 votes total Vote Now