Few disagree that the Denver Broncos have been stacking offensive talent over the last few years, but poor quarterback play has derailed their seasons each time. That figures to end in 2022 with the addition of future Hall of Famer Russell Wilson.
We reached out to Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders to identify which players will likely benefit the most from Wilson’s arrival and their charting suggests wide receiver Courtland Sutton will be poised for a breakout season.
MHR: Which Broncos wide receiver will benefit the most from the addition of Russell Wilson to the offense?
MIKE TANIER: It has to be Courtland Sutton. I don’t think this stat made the book, but: Sutton was targeted 25 times on 20-plus yard passes (Air Yards, of course) in 2021, and only 10 of the passes were even considered catchable according to Sports Info Solutions! In 2019, Sutton only saw 11 catchable 20+ yard passes on 21 targets. Wilson is likely to both target Sutton more often and much more effectively.
The stat they provided about how often Sutton was targeted on deep passes last season with just 10 out of 25 of them even being deemed catchable is astounding. Wilson is one of the best deep throwers in the game, so that stat alone should give Broncos County hope that Sutton is going to be a beast in 2022.
Moving into the running game, Tanier also noted that Wilson is going to give that part of the offense a significant boost in production with Javonte Williams breaking out with over a 1,000 yards this season with Melvin Gordon providing significant relief in touches with another 600+ yards.
MHR: Javonte Williams or Melvin Gordon: Who will have a better season in 2022?
TANIER: Football Outsiders loves Javonte but is not quite on the breakout/rushing title/OPOY bandwagon, in part because Gordon is so useful as a high success rate runner. Our projection is in the 1,000-yard range for Javonte, with Gordon adding about 600 yards.
If Denver gets this kind of output from their rushing game, then they will be a significant offensive threat in the AFC and a major playoff contender. We’ll have to see just how close these FO projections are this season.