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Broncos roster review: wide receiver Tim Patrick

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Can the veteran break out a year late?

Denver Broncos v Minnesota Vikings
Can the veteran stick in a crowded room?
Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

With Emmanuel Sanders’ Week 1 status in question, there’s ample opportunity for young receivers to make an impression on the new coaching staff through camp. No player has as much to gain from E’s absence as Patrick, and from here it looks like he’ll serve as no lower than WR4 in 2019.

From there it comes down to health luck, scheme, and making the most of his targets...

I wrote these words about Tim Patrick a year ago. Unfortunately Patrick’s opportunity to break out never really came to fruition due to both Emmanuel Sanders’ impressive return to health and Patrick’s own week one hand injury. By the time the third year veteran returned from Injured Reserve Joe Flacco had given way to Brandon Allen and eventually Drew Lock and he finished 2019 with just 218 yards receiving.

Is there any reason to believe 2020 will be better when John Elway added both Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler to the receiver room?

Getting open didn’t guarantee Patrick saw the ball in 2019. Will it in 2020?

Tim Patrick’s profile

Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 208 pounds
Age: 26
Experience: 3rd season

The Good

  • Measurables
  • Uses length to help release from jam.
  • Strong swim move.
  • Adept blocker.
  • Body control.
  • Solid hands.
  • Will fight YAC.

One of the things that makes Tim Patrick hard to give up on is that he possesses the kind of size/speed combination that makes a late breakout possible with a better situation around him. Pat Shurmur does ask his receivers to run more isolation routes than Rich Scangarello did, but Patrick’s ability to threaten defenses down the field could open up comeback opportunities. Additionally, Drew Lock is more likely than Joe Flacco was to throw the ball up and give his receivers chances to bring in jump balls.

What also helps Patrick going forward is that he’s the closest thing to a stereotypical X-receiver on the Broncos’ roster after Courtland Sutton. With an offensive coordinator who prefers three receiver sets depth at the position only becomes more important. Lastly, Patrick’s been a willing and capable special team’s contributor in the past, which helps to maximize his value even if his offensive snaps decrease.

The Bad

I suspect Shurmur’s offense will create more situations where Patrick is going to be tightly covered. He’s good at using his body to protect the rock and box out defensive backs to haul it in, but he doesn’t posses the kind of short area quickness to create space for himself as reliably as the rookie receivers do. He’s old enough at this point where it may be unrealistic to ever hope he can iron out this weakness to his game.

I’m not a doctor by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s concerning at this point that Patrick has had three significant injuries to three different body parts in the last six years. The best predictor of future injury is past injury.

Patrick’s good at “bully ball” but may need to get even better to stand out in the Shurmur offense.

Tim Patrick’s roster status with the Broncos

I suspect Tim Patrick will find himself as the number one backup boundary wide receiver in 2020, while DaeSean Hamilton will either start or backup the slot spot. Jerry Jeudy has the versatility to play all over formations, and both K.J. Hamler and Noah Fant should see time inside, so I suspect Patrick will see what amounts to the fourth most playing time of any reciever on the roster.