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Sean Payton praises Kendall Hinton’s intelligence and ability to play the slot

The Broncos head coach spoke highly of the reserve wide receiver and praised his intelligence and ability to play the slot.

Houston Texans v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

With Jerry Jeudy sidelined, the Broncos will be looking for the next man up. I recently wrote about how that next man up could be rookie wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. but we should not sleep on Kendall Hinton, especially after the recent comments made by Sean Payton.

After Thursday’s joint practice vs. the Rams, Payton was asked about wide receiver Kendall Hinton. He told reporters that the reserve wide receiver is “savvy” and praised his instincts while also saying he is at his best in the slot.

“He’s smart. He’s savvy. He’s one of those players who has a good feel. I think he locates and tracks the ball well. He knows who he is. He’s better in the slot and some of those interior option routes. The first thing I think of is he’s got really good football instincts.”

With Tim Patrick and Jalen Virgil out for the year, K.J. Hamler waived with an injury designation and now Jerry Jeudy sidelined, Hinton has a shot at making the team. He still is likely behind Mims, Brandon Johnson, and Marquez Callaway, but he could give the Broncos a savvy slot receiver who knows how to get open in the middle of the field.

This is the second time this month that Payton has complimented Hinton’s intelligence and called him a slot receiver. Early in camp, he told reporters that this is an important camp for Hinton but that he is fluid, can change direction well, and that he has a chance to be a slot-type receiver for them.

“He’s got good hips. He’s fluid. I think he can change direction pretty well. He does have some football instincts. This is an important camp for him. He’s got a chance to be a slot-type receiver. He’s smart.”

Hinton is coming off a tough game vs. the 49ers, but will likely play a good amount this weekend so hopefully, he has a bounce-back game vs. the Rams. I still have my doubts that Hinton can make the 53-man roster but Payton’s comments certainly make me think he may have a good shot. Time will tell as the Broncos' receiving room remains in flux because of multiple injuries.