The Denver Broncos were the highest scoring team in the NFL in 2013. By a mile.
It didn’t end up mattering in the Super Bowl, but the Super Bowl wasn’t indicative of the season the Broncos had last year at all. It was a terrible way to cap it off, but the Broncos put together one of the most memorable seasons in NFL history last year.
The main reason?
Their offensive firepower was incredible. The cupboard was a full arsenal of potent weapons for Peyton Manning to get the ball to, and the Broncos reaped the benefits to the tune of over 600 points.
One huge reason? Size.
The Broncos were a big, athletic offense last year but have suffered two key losses. Running Back Knowshon Moreno is now a member of the Miami Dolphins, and his new AFC East foe Eric Decker bolted for a big contract with the New York Jets.
Decker, a 6’3″ 225 pound receiver provided the Broncos with a fantastic size mismatch along with 6’3″ 230 pound Demaryius Thomas and 6’5″ 255 pound Julius Thomas. Now, the Broncos don’t have Decker, and will look to replace that size in the draft.
As far as his spot on the offense, Decker has been replaced by Emmanuel Sanders, who is under 6’0″ and more of a speed receiver than Decker was a possession type guy. At the back end of round one, your guess is as good as mine who the Broncos will take. Most people believe linebacker or cornerback. Some believe offensive line. I think you have to keep wide receiver at least in the conversation.
The Broncos have more than done due diligence on Ole Miss’ Donte Moncrief, who was courted at his pro day as well as making a visit to Denver’s facilities. There are also players like Kelvin Benjamin, Allen Robinson, and Cody Latimer who are expected to go at or near the bottom of round one that could intrigue the Broncos.
Denver could also be a team that would have interest in a guy like Marqise Lee, Odell Beckham Jr., or Brandin Cooks should they start to fall down the board a bit. Those guys are all expected to go within the top 25 picks, so they may be a longshot for Denver.
All of that being said, this is a very, very deep class of receiver prospects. I haven’t even mentioned Fresno State’s Davante Adams, whom Rob Rang of CBS Sports said would be a seamless transition player for the Broncos to replace Eric Decker with.
One thing is certain — the Broncos will look to add at the receiver position in this draft. Specifically, they need to add some size. Since Julius Thomas is a tight end, the only receiver the Broncos have on the roster right now over 6’0″ tall is Demaryius Thomas. The Broncos knew the size advantage they had with Decker, and they were willing to let him go and try to replace it with a draft pick.
The general thought is that the Broncos could try and wait until the second or third round to address it, and they very well may. However, the pickings could be a bit slim at those picks, even in a deep draft. Taking a top flight receiver in the first round is something we shouldn’t rule out for the Broncos, even if we’d prefer to see them go with a defender.