There’s been a lingering hope that KJ Hamler will become a viable deep threat.
It’s been present since Hamler was drafted by the Denver Broncos out of Penn State in 2020. And for good reason, the 5-foot-9, 178-pound receiver has all of the tangibles to become that deep threat.
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The best ability is availability, and Hamler cannot consistently stay on the field.
In three seasons with the Broncos, Hamler is played in 23 games.
In the 2022 season, he only played in seven games due to a hamstring injury and lingering issues with the knee he tore his ACL in 2021.
You would think Hamler would be able to put the injury bug behind him, but no. In March, Hamler underwent surgery on a torn pectoral muscle he suffered while working out on his own. The injury will likely keep him out until training camp. The original timeline for the injury was 4-6 months.
That means Hamler won’t be able to work Russell Wilson and the offense as they learn Sean Payton’s playbook. Add in the fact Denver drafted Denzel Mims out of Oklahoma and you see how massive of a season this is for Hamler.
Height: 5’9” | Weight: 178 pounds | Age: 23 years old
Arm Length: 30 3/4 inches | Hands: 9 1/2 inches
Played in seven games with 7 catches for 165 yards.
KJ Hamler’s 2023 outlook
In what is a pivotal season for Hamler, he’s not being helped with his pec injury.
Hamler needs to prove he can stay on the field or he will lose his spot on the roster. As noted earlier, the addition of Mims basically puts Hamler on notice.
That’s not to say any of this is Hamler’s fault. It’s awful luck for a guy who has overcome so much, especially last off-season with the loss of his grandmother on top of rehabbing the torn ACL.
But there’s a reason the NFL is known as the “Not For Long” league. Hamler is another exhibit in that mantra.
There’s no question Hamler has the intangibles and ability. But until he’s available on the field, none of it matters.
Since Hamler was drafted, there’s been a hope that this is the season he comes what the franchise expected when he was selected in the second round.
Three years later, the Broncos are still waiting. And they’ll continue to wait given the latest setback in a theme that has defined his NFL career to this point. If Hamler can get ready by training camp, he has much to prove.
That hope is nothing more than fool's gold until Hamler consistently stays on the field and makes an impact.
The clock is ticking.