It’s not a popular opinion to have, but the Denver Broncos could look at the offensive side of the football in the first round of the draft, whether or not some people like it.
One position that could be addressed is wide receiver, as the Broncos lost Eric Decker to the New York Jets this offseason.
You might be wondering what the point of signing Emmanuel Sanders to a three-year deal if not to replace Decker, but I think Denver is still seeking to bring in a wide receiver with size to eventually allow Sanders to play inside or outside, as well as the fact that the position is not exactly the most solidified in terms of the future on the roster.
Demaryius Thomas’ rookie contract expires after this season, as does the two-year deal Wes Welker signed in 2013. Welker is not expected back unless on a short-term, team-friendly deal, and while Thomas is expected to be re-signed, the Broncos need to have at least a contingency plan.
A first-round receiver seems like a steep price to pay for peace of mind, but the players the Broncos have brought in before the draft for visits and/or workouts seems to indicate that it is at the very least on the table.
Today, I want to scout a player who has come to Denver for a pre-draft visit — Penn State receiver Allen Robinson.
Wt: 220 pounds
Vertical: 39 inches
- Playmaker after the catch
- Strong hands
- Experience in pro-style offense
- Explosive leaping ability
- Red zone nightmare
- Could clean up footwork in/out of breaks
- Some lapses of judgment where he catches w/body instead of hands
- Not a deep burner
- Suspension in 2013 season opener (one half)
A couple of things intrigue me greatly about Allen Robinson. First of all, he’s coming from Bill O’Brien’s offense, where he learned an expansive, pro-style route tree. This is one of the toughest things for rookie receivers to adjust to in the NFL, and he’s way ahead of the game.
Second, this is exactly the size that was left behind by Eric Decker (6’3″ 220 pounds). Plus, Robinson is more explosive in terms of his ability to go up and get the ball at its highest point. This would give the Broncos a major advantage in the passing game yet again.
Receiver is not the primary need for the Broncos, but the opportunity to cash in on the rare depth of a class of players like this one is something that has to intrigue the Broncos. Enough to the point that they’ve brought in a number of highly rated receiver over the last few weeks, including Robinson and Ole Miss’ Donte Moncrief.
One thing that might really intrigue the Broncos about Robinson is how great he is after the catch, which even in a blowout loss is something you can see evidence of against Ohio State last year.
Allen Robinson vs. Ohio State (2013 via Draft Breakdown)