Last week we took a look at the RBs that we believe will be available for the draft of 2024, so this week let's do the same with the receiver's class of the 2024 draft. Since this exercise is still way too early and so many unknowns from injuries to guys not coming out, and more this is just a notebook to get familiar with who the talent is at this moment and who the Broncos might find of interest. Let's analyze the last part of that first - so what's the Broncos need at receiver:
Wide receivers & Tight Ends:
- Jerry Jeudy - how he's not the #1 guy for next year would be beyond me - the talent and level of separation he is able to attain is unique in the NFL - only a handful of guys can do what he does off the LOS.
- Courtland Sutton - if he's proven to be back in second half of this season then would assume he's a Bronco in 2024. The issue for him is there's a $10M cap relief in moving him, so that's a concern.
- Brandon Johnson - nice player along the lines of Hinton, dependable and can be effective enough to warrant being back in 2024.
- Marvin Mimms Jr - Mr. Electric with the ball in his hands as a return man - hasn't been able to be unleashed off jet sweeps so much, think he can and will succeed as a deep threat in 2024.
- Tim Patrick - at 29 with a major rehab the big question in my mind is what his goals are - is he wanting to play football in 2024 or had enough turning 30 in 2024.
- Jalen Virgil - at 6'1" and 210lbs with a screaming 40 time this dude is a natural 9 route runner and receiver. At 25yrs of age he should be coming into his own by now, yet the injury bug hit him hard and now we'll see if after rehabbing his relative youth allows him to comeback in 2024 and be productive. Obviously, Mimms Jr is the go-to guy on deep routes so most likely Virgil would be in the back pocket on the PS which would be a major positive from where he's been this past season.
- Li'l Jordan Humphrey - the dude is Tim Patrick size and same type of hands. If Patricks able to come back and compete then it's gonna be a doozy to see who stays and who goes in my opinion as they're both totally competent as possession type receivers - big body and solid hands - won't win any races but they can box a defender out at the catch point.
- Lucas Krull - big, fast just don't know his catching skill yet as in college was kinda inconsistent to put it mildly - soft hands but inconsistent. At 6'6" and 260lbs with a 4.54 40 - very intriguing prospect for 2024. Is he the pass catching replacement for Dulcich - does he offer more than Trautman who excels as a blocking TE - we shall see, maybe Krull gets his shot in 2024.
- Greg Dulcich - so disappointing as a Bronco - ugghhh...was supposed to be the next David Andrews type of TE, a dynamic pass catching TE that's been a major big time bustola. Can he turn it around in 2024 and get on the field - who knows, hopefully like Browning if he can then make believers out of BroncoFan as right now - not so much.
- Adam Trautman - quite the blocker - he can wall off at the second level on the running game in the B & C gaps big time. He isn't the pass catching TE was expecting, slow afoot isn't a positive - will he be back in 2024 - doubtful.
- Chris Manhertz - 6'6" and 235lbs - to me this dude's just waiting for the chance to prove he can catch the damn ball. College basketball player that supposedly is an inline blocking TE, get that he does check that box - yet have seen him catch the football and he moves better than Trautman - he's a guy would bring back in 2024.
- Nate Adkins - a 6'3" & 252lb TE, to be honest looks more like a FB to me when in the game and if brought back would see if between him and Perine they could handle the FB duties freeing up a position to allow Burton to be let go. Nothing against Burton just would like the flexibility of an extra position and not using a FB enough and/or Adkins & Perine could take those snaps IMO. Is Adkins a legit TE, eh - not seeing it all that much but like Beck a utility guy potentially worth having back in 2024.
- Other receivers that I just don't know where to put them as of yet - just don't have any real concept as am not in the building or at practices and that includes - WR Bandy - Dorsett - Stills & TreQuan Smith.
So, with all that where's the need realistically for the Broncos with receivers. Most likely like the RB position not a high need, one that could see a day three pick "fallen angel" type of player that drops from third round or second day into the deep 6th or 7th round that they can make a play at - otherwise - not seeing a major play like Mimms Jr was in 2023 draft. The caveat is if both Sutton and Patrick are gone for 2024, or Jeudy then that changes the dynamic big time.
I like to look at receivers in basically five categories:
- WR1 - the Ferrari's on the roster, the dudes that are the divas that make you eat glass sometimes with their antics until they pull it out in an unbelievable catch and win. The Broncos have a WR1 in Sutton who's showing life finally after his injury to be able to get back to that level potentially and a young gun who's a typical polarizing figure for a WR1 in Jeudy. I do like Jeudy to be fair.
- WR2 - these guys are the glue; they are often possession type of receivers or the yin to the WR1's yang. The most famous would be either Swan & Stallworth or Rice and Taylor. A lot of football folks, including myself would value Stallworth higher on the team than Swan as more consistent and durable. The Broncos are unsettled at this position at this time as Mimms Jr is the most likely candidate even though he's more a deep threat than a possession receiver.
- Slot Receivers - Wes Welker & Julius Edelman made being a slot guy cool. They're the dudes that quite frankly are more often than not able to separate on the rail due to a lack of long speed, size, height, catch radius or all of the above. The advantage they have is quick like cats and can run squirrel routes to death - with the ball in their hands many are like punt returners and elusive to catch.
- Deep threats - the guys that are able to scream down the field with their hair on fire and make the DB's leave that underneath cushion they've been sitting on. The Bronco's currently have Mimms Jr and Virgil that IMO can be that deep threat.
- Possession receivers - playing at the moment would rate Li'l Jordan Humphrey as the top possession receiver all though could include Sutton in that category. Their main purpose akin to the TE pass catchers is to move those chains!
Tight Ends more or less come in two flavors:
- In-line blocking TE or the Y - the dude like Manhertz that's been hired to ensure that the edge on the running game is an open lane for the RB. Trautman also does a fine job in blocking as a TE, which is a bit surprising as came into the league as more the pass catching type.
- Pass catchers or the X factor TE, or as Payton likes to call them the "Jokers" - the guy that has the ability to be a mismatch for DB's and LB's as too quick and agile for the LB's and too big for the DBs to handle at the catch point. We've heard Dulcich is the ideal pass catching TE for two years now - sure hope he's able to prove that at some point. In the meantime, buckle up Broncos and go find one that's available to play on Sundays.
- Classic All-Around TE - Trautman is that type a sturdy big guy, generally over 6'4" now and 250lbs, with some speed generally a 4.7 or under. Schoonmaker out of MI last season is one of my favorites of the recently into the NFL classic type of TE. They can catch some and block even better.
Marvin Harrison Jr. WR OSU
- Top five pick in this 2024 NFL draft
- At 6'4" & 205lbs runs a 4.39 40, oh wait is he a waif - hardly he benches 380lbs and did the 225 press at 20 reps which is outstanding for a receiver.
- His agility in catching the ball at his size is amazing, looks like a pretzel at times and still catches the ball.
- Could he be a Bronco - not in this 2024 draft he's not unless the Paton/Payton brain trust throws caution to the wind and moves up to get him - gawd knows what that would cost.
Brock Bowers TE Georgia
- Probably first half of first round he's gone - at 6'4" and 240lbs a 4.48 40 and hands like Charmin.
- Played QB & TE in HS, as well as LB - this shows in his ability to understand the passing game and his role as well as to block fellow LB's. He's just a standout in all categories.
- Could he be a Bronco - it's possible if Broncos lose in second half of season & pick in the 7-11 range he might still be there - if they continue to win and are picking 15 or later - very doubtful.
Malik Nabers - WR/Slot LSU
- At 6' and 200lbs not an intimidating player size wise, yet he can run and his vertical is almost 40". He also gets to the 40" when on field faster than anyone so it's usable speed.- tad bit bigger than Mimms Jr and very similar in athleticism - difference is this dude in the slot is a short & intermediate zone buster.
- If you like WR Hamler but he couldn't stay on the field, then you should most likely love this dude - am projecting him as a slot burner in the NFL. He can run the routes from the slot and if a defense isn't careful, he'll beat everyone down the seam. He can be very productive at either a WR2 on the rail or at slot, but I like him at slot.
- Could he be a Bronco - sure - it could happen - am guessing he might be available even at fifteen but most likely will need to have a top ten pick to land Nabers.
Keon Coleman - WR - FSU
- Okay you missed out on Marvin Harrison Jr, whatta ya gonna do - well how about a matching size in 6'4" and 215lbs and almost as fast with a 4.48 40 in Coleman. He's got outstanding hands but is more prototypical as an NFL receiver not other worldly like Harrison Jr.
- Could he be a Bronco - definitely if that's the position the Broncos decide to go in the first round then he might be available in the first half of the first round - he's ascending so might go earlier as some see him as the second-best receiver in this draft - course some rate him a second rounder so there's that.
Rome Odunze - WR - Washington
- At 6'3" and 200lbs this dude clocked a 4.34 40 - he's got speed to burn. He's improved every year at Univ of WA and is a standout collegiate receiver - with a 37" vert he can also beat the DB's on the high catch points.
- His main issue is physicality, his get off the LOS isn't the best - he's a track star athlete playing football. He might wind up being the 9-route guy only, hey worked for Randy Moss so it's not all bad, but he leaves you wanting more.
- Could he be a Bronco - doubtful as Mimms Jr looks like he's gonna have the 9-route nailed down.
Emeka Egbuka - WR - OSU
- At 6'1" and 206lbs he's got the size and speed with a 4.3 40 - the question is can he focus on contested catches and be a downfield threat on the over the shoulder catch. He may wind up a slot receiver and then have skills to go out wide with the 4-5 receiver sets. Very interesting prospect and athlete.
- Could he be a Bronco - probably not - unless Payton sees his run blocking as a strong enough asset to pick him up and he's available. I feel like he's not quite the playmaker that I'd like to see but damn he's a tough guy with the ball as doesn't just go down easy, and he can flat out - run.
Xavier Worthy - WR - Texas
- Xavier is a 6'1" & 172lb athlete - yes that's the measurables he'll be coming into the combine with at the moment, needs to be at or above 180lbs by then to ensure he can get at least to a safe weight & size to play other than in special packages. Every time watching Texas this cat is a flat-out game breaker - he's special - can he add some pounds of armor as right now it's punt returns and working the slot in packages set up for him.
- Could he be a Bronco - heck yeah he could - he's a fearless cat but the problem is can he stand up to the rigors of an NFL 17 game season plus camps and playoffs. He's a track man with elite speed, but he loves football and won't run away from contact - that may be something he's gonna have to learn to get down! Should be available in mid first round so probably will still be there when Broncos pick.
JaTavion Sanders - TE - Texas
- At 6'4" and 243lbs Sanders is obviously a pass catching TE with a 4.56 40 not a burner more a route runner with soft hands. He's not going to run away from DBs yet he's elusive enough to make LBs whiff and can muscle DB's. Not the strongest player or fastest just a good solid receiver that can run after the catch and move the chains.
- Could he be a Bronco - sure if the Broncos want to move back to get more picks as he should be available in that 20-32 spot. He would be outstanding to compete with Dulcich and force the issue - either get on the field or make room for the next guy.
Xavier Legette - WR - South Carolina
- Another off the chart's athlete - at 6'2" and 227lbs he's clocked a 4.49 40. He is a fifth-year senior, so he's ready for the physicality of the NFL. He's not as much of a hands catcher as I'd like but that can probably be coached up in the NFL is my guess. He has no issues with contact - and he can run the deeps and terrorize DB's. Somewhat of a bully boy akin to Jonathan Mingo in last year's draft.
- Could he be a Bronco - oh heck yeah, no second rounder at the moment but could see this guy in top half of the second-round if Broncos moved back for draft capital - he could be a steal of a deal. Currently weak as a blocker but with Sutton & Patrick in the room he can be brought up to speed.
Adonai Mitchell - WR - Texas
- Adonai's measurables are 6'4" and 196lbs with a 4.5 40. He's somewhat akin to a slimmer Sutton when he came out of SMU. Nice player will go up and get it - won't run away from DB's in the NFL, but he can run a solid route and has strong hands.
- Could Adonai be a Bronco - well if something happens pre-draft and Suttons traded then certainly this dude would be a similarly skilled replacement. He does need to add some more armor just not too much as his speed isn't above NFL good to average for a WR. He's going to go in the second round most likely.
Troy Franklin - WR - Oregon
- At 6'3" and 187lbs with a 4.39 40 he's a prototypical modern-day receiver. He's a do it all kind of player and he's got the speed, size and hands. In an NFL camp and training table with an added 5-10lbs this dude could be a real problem in the NFL.
- Could he be a Bronco - well again, not at the moment as he looks to be a solid second round pick - that said either a trade back, or a Sutton or Jeudy trade and this dude then becomes worthy of a look big time.
Johnny Wilson - WR - FSU
- Wilson at 6'7" and 237lbs with a 4.42 40 is a dream kind of athlete - will it transfer to being an NFL receiver, that's the question. His hands are a work in progress and his route running is not precise and will need coached up at the next level.
- Could he be a Bronco - hard pressed to see it as will again be a second-round pick and just not sure he'd be the target if Broncos get a second-round pick via trade back or a player. If he can get his game into a solid professional type of level, he could be a steal. Wilson is a big-time boom or bust prospect.
Ladd McConkey - WR - Georgia
- At 6' and 185lbs with a 4.59 40 there's not much for speed or size to see here. Was psyched to see if he was Phil McConkey's son, but they're not related - that's a good jumping off point though as he's got that type of game. A little scrappy dawg who's got the heart of a lion, but can he play in the NFL. We shall find out soon enough as he's gonna go back end of the second round is my guess.
- Could he be a Bronco - have my doubts unless dropped into third or better even the fourth round then maybe - problem is he's gonna be a return guy and Mimms Jr is outstanding with that job. He'll most likely play majority of his snaps in the slot so there's value there if Broncos see him as a slot receiver.
JaLynn Polk - WR - University of Washington
- At 6'2" & 204lbs with a 4.48 40 and only a sophomore this dude may have his best football in front of him. He's sneaky fast and has a solid catch and run with violence. Can catch the deep ball, but not a real solid contested catch guy as of yet - he could develop into that as he's got the frame.
- Could he be a Bronco - well a back half of second round rated - if dropped he could be interesting.
Jermaine Burton - WR - Alabama
- A 6' &195lb with a 4.31 40 we're getting into the WR2 grouping now. He's got some amazing skills, highly recruited, didn't get the targets in Georgia so left for Bama but hasn't really produced as expected. He just hasn't been that next great Bama receiver, but he's solid and you're not gonna pay first round draft capital on picking him.
- Could he be a Bronco - he's one of those guys that are going to need to interview carefully and flesh out concerns on what happened at Georgia - why did he languish there and why not excel at Bama. He's got a bit of the former Bama receivers in Smith and Waddle in him a solid WR2 - and he blocks on run plays. A solid third round pick but if he dropped into the fourth then heck yeah grab him up quick.
Malachi Corley - WR - Western Kentucky
- Solid slot receiver at the 5'11" & 200lbs with a 4.46 40 he's got the twitch to run away from the slot defenders on squirrel routes. He's got the kind of game that could translate very well as a slot receiver in the NFL especially a quick passing attack offense designed to hit short zone routes on time.
- Could he be a Bronco - borderline as a third rounder type of player but am guessing will be taken in top half of the third round. Has a bit of Zay Flowers in him so he's going to be picked up on potential.
Antwane Wells Jr - WR - South Carolina
- At 6'1" & 208lbs with a 4.5 40 he's a soft hands possession type of receiver. Your classic WR2 ideally and he can catch and fight for extra yardage. His problem is going to be lack of speed to separate in the big boys' club the NFL. He's a bit like Mingo whom I like, but he's having those issues right now with the Panthers.
- Could he be a Bronco - doubtful - he's kinda like Patrick or Sutton but smaller and really not faster than Sutton.
Brenden Rice - WR - USC
- You might have heard of his dad - Jerry Rice - yeah that Jerry Rice. Tough following that act. Make no mistake nobody will, but this kid's got game and at 6'3" and 215lbs he can flat out get it with a 4.38 40, didn't know he had that in him. If nothing else he's bigger and faster than Jerry, nowhere near as strong and the hands - come on man. He's totally a project with some development necessary could be an outstanding WR2 in the NFL.
- Could he be a Bronco - oh hell yeah, if he's there in the third-round jump on him, my gut tells me he's gonna climb the draft board and be a top half second or maybe even late first round pick. Too much size, speed and potential in Brenden Rice.
Tory Horton - WR - CSU
- Tory from the enemy CSU to our UW, this kids like the latest version that CSU keeps producing in NFL receivers. Nothing of particular note a 6'2" & 190lb with a 4.45 40, but he's like the Gallups and the rest a steady Eddy type that promises the potential to be that WR2. Solid at the catch point, good enough athlete with agility to make high point and back of shoulder catches - can get his body to do whatever's needed to make the catch.
- Could he be a Bronco - he could, am thinking not in the third round but if dropped in the draft to fourth or fifth could see him in orange & blue - damn CSU - course he is a transfer from Nevada so okay.
J. Michael Sturdivant - WR - UCLA
- Just a sophomore but wow what a talent at 6'3" and 205lbs with a 4.38 40, strong as heck with close to a 300lb bench and 400lb squat he won't be outmuscled by the DB's. His biggest issue is raw - very raw - a developmental project that in a second year could blossom into a big time WR2. He's a stud and is going to be in the NFL for a long time is my guess.
- Could he be a Bronco - possibly - he's a guy that's going to climb up the draft board is my guess so could be a second-round pick. If he's still there in the third round or if drops oh yeah, take him and be happy as you've got a guy that could be an X receiver, pushed into the slot or even take on punt returns, he's going to be a multi-faceted player at some point.
Brian Thomas Jr - WR - LSU
- At 6'4" & 205 with a 4.47 40 he won't wow you with speed and size yet he's got some of both, his calling card is he's one of those good hand's dudes. Looks to be a solid WR2 prospect in the NFL as that X-receiver type. He's a junior with LSU so has had the benefit of Daniels at QB and any HC in the NFL would love to see him in their playbook as that guy that can move the chains.
- Could he be a Bronco - he might be if he drops, there's not enough meat on the bone is my guess for the Broncos to snag him with one of their few picks as a third rounder.
Jalen McMillan - WR - Washington
- A solid 6'1" and 196lb with a 4.38 40, this dude can be a multi-faceted role player in an offense. He's got the tools to be in the slot, thrown out wide as an X-receiver and can-do return man duties. Can he be a WR2, probably as a backup not likely a NFL starter but he's worth a look.
- Could he be a Bronco - doubtful, as Brandon Johnson is already filling this role to a degree and just don't see enough to move on from Brandon with McMillan.
Jaheim Bell - TE - FSU
- A physical 6'3" & 239lb TE with a 4.54 40 so he can run after the catch and isn't afraid of contact in the least. He's got solid hands and a nasty disposition, like his game. He could develop into a solid pass catching TE in the pros, he's not going to be an in-line blocking TE most likely due to his size.
- Could he be a Bronco - absolutely he could be, has the characteristics of a pass catching TE that could be a competitor to Dulcich in the passing game and be a factor for the Broncos. He could be a riser on the draft boards into the third round as he's got the passing game skill set desired in modern NFL.
Cade Stover - TE - OSU
- Here's your solid all-around NFL TE, a classic at 6'4" and 251lbs with a 4.55 40. He's a solid blocking TE and he can also be an asset in the passing game.
- Could he be a Bronco - doubtful, as think the Broncos are looking for a standout in the passing game more than an all-around TE, though with Troutman being a disappointment if this guy falls into the 5/6th round area then absolutely a value and snag him up.
Luke Lachey - TE - Iowa
- Who doesn't love the next Iowa TE right - well Lachey like Stover is your classic all around TE with more size at 6'6" and 253lbs but a slow 4.66 40 time won't help in the passing game. He's a Troutman type built for short zone, and quick hitting timing plays - he can also be an outlet guy. As a blocker he's a work in progress but that size shows with a solid frame can be a dominant blocking TE.
- Could he be a Bronco - don't see it. He's basically Troutman, and if you're not enamored with Troutman, and I'm not then why go here. He'll find a home in the NFL but doubt in Denver.
Roman Wilson - WR - Michigan
- This is the classic take a chance on a player - he's a hit or miss kind of guy. Super athlete, not real consistent as a receiver and doubt he gets into a WR2 role anytime soon. Could be a heckuva return man and potentially a gadget play guy at 6' and 195lbs he can fly with a 4.37 40.
- Could he be a Bronco - don't see it, the Broncos have too many other needs in this round for a luxury role player.
Jamari Thrash - WR - Louisville
- At 6'1" and 185lbs with a 4.5 40 he's got the hands to potentially be a pro as his size and speed won't be a factor. He's going to have to build upon learning the pro route tree and becoming that precise route runner to have a shot at sticking in the NFL.
- Could he be a Bronco - not seeing it, just not enough there to move on again from Brandon Johnson.
Devontez Walker - WR - UNC
- A solid 6'3" and 200lb athlete with a 4.48 40 so not elite speed but strong hands. Ideally could be a 9 route guy but he's not got the speed to tear the top off a defense.
- Could he be a Bronco - if both Sutton & Patrick are gone and the Broncos want to replace that type of receiver for a fifth-round pick, he'd be a potential value or later especially as a 6/7th round pick.
Ricky Pearsall - WR - Florida
- At 6'1" and 190lbs with a 4.44 40 this dude is destined to be that utility type of player - he can be on special teams both in coverage and as a returner potentially - and he can be a WR4/5 as an outstanding depth player.
- Could he be a Bronco - it's a stretch yet the Broncos have two picks in the 5th round as of now, so if they don't trade one of them could see this guy as type of player Payton loves to utilize with a variety of tools available.
Moose Muhammed III - WR - Texas A&M
- Okay lets get this over right now - a guy named Moose should be a O-lineman, a FB, maybe even a LB not a slot receiver but you be you Moose. At 5'11" and 205lbs with a 4.48 40 he's a stocky type of slot dude and can run through tackles.
- Could he be a Bronco - sure, there's a need for a slot receiver and he could fit the bill for the Broncos as a 5th round pick.
Ben Sinnett - TE - KS ST
- Another of the classic TE types at 6'4" & 245lbs with a 4.63 40 and a 72 grade on blocking so he's a better blocker than most. Nothing to wow you with but like MI Schoonmaker last year a solid type of TE in the short zone passing game and a solid blocking TE.
- Could he be a Bronco - tough call here, do like Sinnett's game, he's a strong powerful guy for 245lbs, but could he replace Manhertz - I don't know about that.
Brevyn Spann-Ford - TE - Minnesota
- Liked this guy last year when thought might come out. He's a freakin' load and a half - half TE and half tackle at 6'7" and 270lbs and as you'd expect a slow 4.72 40, but those hands are soft for such a big man. Can see him as a red zone threat as is fairly quick for his size, won't beat anyone downfield but don't let him catch the ball and get rumbling either.
- Could he be a Bronco - oh yeah, could see it big time as he would be a solid replacement for Trautman & Manhertz, with a potential lineup in the TE room of Dulcich & Krull as pass catching TE's and Adkins the depth all-around TE and Spann-Ford the Y TE. He's limited in his catching ability as to intermediate and deep routes as not much of a factor, but the short zone he can be a factor and his blocking while a work in progress, with a 65 grade there's room for improvement. He shows potential to be a dominant Y TE for years in the NFL, a big strong like Tomlinson a few years ago with surprisingly soft hands this guy's potential is even higher as a receiver.
DeCorian Clark - WR - UTSA
- Freakish athlete at 6'3" and 215lbs with a 4.45 40 set all kinds of track & field records in HS. Problem is his play speed and athleticism don't show up consistently on the field. If can get more of a football player than a track athlete out of him he could be special - a boom or bust guy big time. Ideally a major 9 route threat as could be a deep ball nightmare for DC in the NFL.
- Could he be a Bronco - they do have two picks in this round so wouldn't shock me on a flyer here with a second fifth round pick - that said a lot of risk but could also be high reward as always in third day picks.
Ainais Smith - WR - Texas A&M
- Another stocky 5'10" & 200lb slot dude with a nice 4.41 40. He's not a deep ball threat as he cannot deal with contested catches due to his height and lack of ability to fight for anything beyond the intermediate routes. He's a major asset in squirrel routes as a slot receiver and potentially a ST return man as well, particularly a punt returner.
- Could he be a Bronco - very doubtful, just not enough there to not look at other positions of need.
Bru McCoy - WR - TN
- Big and strong at 6'3" and 220lbs - with a 4.46 40 not outstanding speed, just good average speed. His problem is a straight-line runner and lacks creativity in separating from defenders. Was a 5-star HS recruit to USC & transferred to TN as just wasn't getting playing time regularly. He's got the potential to be a solid NFL receiver if he could ever reach his actual potential.
- Could he be a Bronco - boom or bust guy, too much developmental needed with him to become a pro and Broncos don't have that luxury.
Jacob Cowing - WR - AZ
- At 5'11" & 175lbs with 4.4 40 he's a slot guy that's thankfully elusive as can make people miss on that first tackle. He's got some Bonafide hands particularly in the intermediate zone - and he's an ideal return man.
- Could he be a Bronco - sure he could, this is the traditional "flyer round" in the NFL. He's a flyer, and where I feel has value as a Bronco is at some point you want to remove Mimms Jr from his return man duties and to focus on his WR job and of course minimize the injury factor. This guy could be that guy that replaces Mimms Jr in the return game - from that alone worth a look.
Tre Harris - WR - Ole Miss
- At 6'2" and 205lbs and a 4.4 40 he's a prototypical NFL size and speed X-receiver. He could be a diamond in the rough. I think he's got the potential to be a solid possession type of receiver as has solid 90 grade on intermediate routes and above 80 on short and deep zones.
- Could he be a Bronco - again depends on if Sutton and/or Patrick are here or not - if not this guy's way worth a flyer as a replacement for both potentially.
Jordan Whittington - WR - Texas
- At 6'1" and 207lbs with a 4.47 40 his calling card is plays with a sense of urgency and violence after the catch. His intermediate zone rating is above an 80, short and deep are in the 60's. His blocking for a WR at 75 is outstanding.
- Could he be a Bronco - doubtful other than as a UDFA potentially. Looks like a ST player on coverage and a PS player for depth.
Dominic Lovett - WR - Georgia
- At 5'10" and 179lbs with a 4.46 40 this dudes gonna struggle to make a roster. His calling card is obviously his hands - they're fly paper. He's got to be utilized as a gadget guy on offense as they'll press the hell outta him at the LOS - his best bet is as a return man and on coverage units to make it in the NFL.
- Could he be a Bronco - as a UDFA potentially; otherwise, not seeing it.
Dorian Singer - WR - USC
- As an X-receiver this dude doesn't really have the size & speed combo at 6' & 180lbs with a 4.5 40. Good hands with a 80+ grade on intermediate and deep zones.
- Could he be a Bronco - doubt it, just not enough there to literally separate himself from the competition.
Robert Lewis - WR - Georgia State
- Another one of the undersized 5'11" & 185lbs guys that is not an X-receiver nor a slot guy with a 4.45 40.
- Could he be a Bronco - maybe a UDFA with a ST role potentially. Big if on that too.
Will Sheppard - WR - Vanderbilt
- Thought he might come out last year but decided to stay for his senior season. Didn't help much and might have dragged him down a round or two actually - at 6'3" and 198lbs with a 4.49 40 he's got the prototypical size & speed ration needed. His receiving in intermediate and deep zone both grade at 80+ so as an X-receiver he's got a shot in the NFL.
- Could he be a Bronco - totally depends on where the status of Patrick and Sutton are - if they're gone then he's definitely worth a flyer in 6th or 7th rounds.
Mario Williams - WR - USC
- Really like this guy as a college player and his name cracks me up as same name as the DT years ago that played in the NFL - the smurf to the big man. Anyway at 5'9" and 175lbs with a 4.55 40 he's just lacking too much in the speed area to be a realistic threat. I'd doubt if he's an NFL guy but could definitely project into the other leagues as a return man and slot receiver (XFL/CFL/USFL)
- Could he be a Bronco - think he's gonna have to go to another league and prove it to get a shot in the NFL - along the lines of PJ Walker the QB for the Browns and Panthers.
Oronde Gadsen II - TE - Syracuse
- At 6'5" and 223lbs this dude is tall but no bigger than li'l Jordan Humphrey - but he's fast with a 4.5 40 and strong hands. Could be a sleeper as runs solid routes, not overly creative in separation, so will need to develop ability to beat defenders to the catch point by separating in traffic.
- Could he be a Bronco - as a 6th round flyer to compete with Dulcich as the pass catching TE there's some value here and wouldn't be shocked to see him in Orange & Blue besides Cuse.
McCallan Castles - TE - TN
- Fifth year senior and a transfer with a lot of snaps - good solid multipurpose type of TE. Can catch the ball a bit at 6'5" and 250lbs with a 4.7 40 won't run away from anyone. A solid plugger and blocking with a 70+ is a bonus for the position.
- Could he be a Bronco - seriously doubt it as don't see anything that Adkins doesn't already have or bring to the table.
Bryson Nesbit - TE - UNC
- Have watched this guy since 2022 and not sure why he's dropped down into the 6th round grade - one of his strengths listed is as a return man - I've watched football for like 55 years and I'll bet only seen a handful of TE's as return guys. Whether he is or not isn't the point it's what kind of an athlete at that positon he is and he's an athlete at 6'5" and 235lbs with a 4.6 40. His hands grade at a 75 for a TE there's nothing wrong with that and he shows grades of 80+ in every category short, intermediate and deep zone. I don't get it, and am guessing the NFL scouts won't either and you'll see him rise up the board - if not he's a bargain in 6th round.
- Could he be a Bronco - if he's here in the 6th round take him and don't look back at who's gonna steal him from you - move on and be happy.
Ali Jennings - WR - Old Dominion University
- At 6'2" and 198lbs with a 4.46 40 he's gotten the load of work as the WR1 - two issues, the competition leaves a lot to be desired for an eval & his QB sucked so bad couldn't get him the ball on the route. He's putting up incredible numbers due mainly to poor level of competition so an honest appraisal of his skill set will have to wait until his pro day, combine if invited and if gets into a few Senior Bowl type of games and events. He's an interesting player to take a look at.
- Could he be a Bronco - potentially if Paton sees something to disucss with Payton - in particular if he can play ST on coverage and be a potential WR5 then there's a chance, also a depth PS player is not out of the question.
Isaiah Nayor - WR - Texas
- At 6'3" and 216lbs with a 4.49 40 he's a good athlete, and he's got the hands with a 79 on short zone, an 88 on intermediate and a damn good 90 on the deep routes. This dude could be a 9-route specialist in the right system.
- Could he be a Bronco - depends upon Virgil's recovery, as if he's back then don't see the need, if not this is the kind of kid don't wait on for a UDFA signing, get him now - of course means adding a 7th round pick somewhere either in the draft or a pre-draft trade potentially.
Ja'Corey Brooks - WR - Bama
- Slow afoot, but he's got a big catch radius and strong hands - the classic possession receiver type. Can he make an NFL roster with his 6'2" & 195lb frame with a 4.65 40 - doubtful, but he does have some traits that the NFL seeks including solid route running, ability to high point the catch and the strong hands.
- Could he be a Bronco - don't see it, would be a Brandon Johnson type and not enough there.
Hayden Hatten - WR - Idaho
- Very intriguing prospect as if played at a major college level program could get a much better eval on his abilities. At 6'2" and 210lbs with a 4.55 40 he's your dyed in the wool possession receiver. His hands grade out off the charts with a short at 91, a intermeidate at 97, and a deep at 97 with overall hands rate of 94 - that's top shelf stuff. His blocking for a smaller player is a 65 so he's willing and will help out on the running game too.
- Could he be a Bronco - absolutely he could. This is another guy you don't let go to the UDFA signings - get him in your building. Sure, he could be a dud, but odds are with his hands skill he's going to either make a roster or be on a PS.
Cornelius Johnson - WR - Michigan
- By all tell he's a UDFA but he just makes catches and gets open. At 6'3" & 208lbs with a 4.47 40 nothing sticks out, and his hands while strong aren't the highest rated overall at a 60, but his knack for getting open is a top-level player type of grade. Can he keep that up in the NFL - well that's why you take him now instead of as a UDFA exposed to the other 31 teams.
- Could he be a Bronco - depends on if Sutton and/or Patrick are on the roster come draft day. He's an intriguing player and could see Payton looking at him with possession type of a skill set.
Erick Ali - TE Iowa
- Big powerful athlete, at 6'5" and 250lbs he's got the build but a 4.8 40 belies the fact he won't run away from any NFL defenders. Good hands, but his blocking grade of a 53 are not where he needs to be in order to be drafted.
- Could he be a Bronco - doubt it, just too slow to be an impact in the passing game and not strong enough as a blocker to put into the game in jumbo or short yardage situations.
Caden Prieskorn - TE - Ole Miss
- At 6'5" and 255lbs he's high hipped and a streamline build which limits his blocking effectiveness. That's a real problem for Caden at the next level. With a 4.7 40 and decent not great hands his best hope is as a red zone type of TE - a bit of a Julius Thomas type of player from old school Bronco days.
- Could he be a Bronco - not enough meat on the bone unless Payton sees him as a type of red zone player that can utilize enough to warrant on PS and develop.
Zakhari Franklin - WR - Ole Miss
- At 6'1" and 185lbs with a 4.49 40 this dude if can play ST both in coverage and as a return man has a shot. He's creative in space, he's gonna struggle getting off the LOS so will need help with a scheme where he's on the move to be effective.
- Can he be a Bronco - well depends on how long the Broncos want to expose Mimms Jr to that return gig, it's fun to watch until he's injured & hopefully that's not gonna happen but this dude could be a serviceable return man potentially to make a team.
Tyler Harrell - WR - Miami
- I don't have a clue why this guys a UDFA rated player. At 6' and 200lbs he's not big enough to get off the LOS without help in a scheme but come on that's with a number of offenses the case in the NFL now. Here's the thing this dude's been clocked at a 4.19 and a 4.24 on a laser. Yeah those are not misprints, I cannot believe he doesn't get drafted. So what's his hands like - not bad not great either at 70 straight across the board so more a TE level than WR, but man as a return man this dude could blaze.
- Could he be a Bronco - don't know - honestly just don't see how he's around to be a UDFA, but if he is and can talk him into Denver which as a FL kid have my doubts there too, but if so nab him now.
Gunner Gentry - WR - University of Wyoming
- At 6'3" and 205lbs the brother of Tanner Gentry on the Chicago Bears roster as a WR the hope is he gets an invite to a NFL camp. Hard luck kid a grad student as has spent like three years injured in college football - he's paid his dues and has great hands. Won't matter much, just give him a shot but know if wants to play as a pro will have to go another league and prove it to ever get a shot in the NFL.
- Could he be a Bronco - possibly he could be a UDFA low-cost courtesy local invite. If anyone is deserving, it's Gunner.
There it is a list of whom I see as a thumbnail sketch on receivers this season for the 2024 NFL draft. Keep in mind nothing is set in draft order yet, injuries may push guys back to college and some may decide on their own to go back for another season. This is nothing more than a notebook for potential players to take a deep dive into for the mock draft season - nothing more than that.
For those of you that have read the entire blog - please seek help NOW! Would give you my therapists info but they're rather busy - hold on a minute my notifications just dinged me - well got an appointment to get too in a few minutes so catch ya'all later on!