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Broncos heavy draft investment at wide receiver is paying off

The Denver Broncos wide receiver corps is loaded with young talent. Whoever starts at quarterback next season will no excuse finding open receivers.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos have invested heavily in the wide receiver position group over the last several years and that investment is starting to pay off in a big way.

Though they lost their breakout star wide receiver Courtland Sutton last season, he figures to come back with a vengeance in 2021. Add in their two rookies in first rounder Jerry Jeudy and second rounder KJ Hamler and they look quite stacked at the position right now.

Tim Patrick is a restricted free agent and if he comes back it only makes this unit even stronger. DaeSean Hamilton and Tyrie Cleveland are two other draft picks that contributed last season, then you have Diontae Spencer back there returning kicks on special teams and being used in certain packages on offense.

In short, the Broncos have no shortage of weapons in this wide receiver group. Scotty Payne, Joe Rowles, and I talked about potential changes or scenarios that could play out this offseason.

Broncos wide receiver position group

Player Position Height Weight Age Contract Status
Player Position Height Weight Age Contract Status
Benson, Trinity WR 5' 11" 186 24 Signed through 2022
Cleveland, Tyrie WR 6' 02" 209 23 Signed through 2023
Hamilton, DaeSean WR 6' 01" 203 25 Signed through 2021
Hamler, KJ WR 5' 09" 178 21 Signed through 2023
Hinton, Kendall WR 5' 10" 193 23 Signed through 2022
Jeudy, Jerry WR 6' 01" 193 21 Signed through 2023
Patrick, Tim WR 6' 05" 210 27 RFA
Spencer, Diontae WR 5' 09" 161 28 ERFA
Sutton, Courtland WR 6' 03" 218 25 Signed through 2021

Tim Lynch: I almost feel like this position group doesn’t need any attention at all. Tender Tim Patrick and keep everyone together. If no one disagrees with that, then let’s talk hypothetical Deshaun Watson trade.

If trading for Watson involves trading a wide receiver, how high would you go in their demands for a quality player at the position?

Joe Rowles: Depends who you give up. If the Broncos lost Jeudy, then Z receiver becomes a big need.

Scotty Payne: The reported trade demands wanted defense, but for conversational sake, I’ll say include Sutton. Sure, it would suck, but he’s entering the final year of his rookie deal and that would leave you with Jeudy, Hamler, and Patrick.

I’m not sure Patrick is good enough to sway this deal in the Broncos favor, Jeudy shouldn’t be involved and Hamler could work, but I’d hate to lose his skill set.

If this hypothetical deal happens pre-FA or early into the process, the Broncos could then go sign a Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, or a Juju to replace Sutton’s role. Again, they want defense, but if you want Watson, you probably have to include Sutton or Jeudy level of player and I chose Sutton.

Joe: I know the Broncos would be down picks in this scenario but this receiver class is every bit as loaded as last year’s. Maybe more.

Scotty: True, but I doubt in this hypothetical scenario that they would use their remaining picks on a receiver. Later, maybe, but need to address that defense.

Joe: Maybe a Day 3 pick to get a role player depending on who you lose. Remember Houston was pretty dang barren after Fuller got hurt and they still finished with the 8th best passing offense by DVOA.

Shurmur has also helped to put unheralded guys in situations to succeed in the past. Darius Slayton was a dangerous vertical threat as a rookie in 2019, for example.

Scotty: Tyrie Cleveland looked decent in short stints too. Plus, we need to include Fant and Albert O here as well since they will basically play WR roles too. So while losing Sutton would suck, it’s a manageable loss for the Broncos in my opinion.

Joe: Losing Sutton or Patrick would at least be manageable due to the overlap in their respective skillsets.

What do you think Broncos Country? How would you approach our hypothetical type situation if you were George Paton? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.