Feb 22, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver Cody Latimer speaks at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Scouting Denver Broncos WR Cody Latimer


The Broncos surprised some people when they traded a 5th round pick in 2014 and a 4th round pick in 2014 to move up and take Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer (and receive an additional 7th round pick), but this was arguably a pick that they could have made at the #31 overall slot.

In every draft John Elway has had with the Broncos, he’s followed up a defensive pick in the first round with an offensive one in the second round. Many thought Elway would focus on the offensive line or inside linebacker position with the Broncos’ second round pick, but Denver needed to add size on the outside at the WR position with Eric Decker off to the Jets.

In comes Cody Latimer, the 6’3″ 215 pound speedster out of Indiana who is fully healed from left foot surgery and blew scouts away by running between 4.38 and 4.44 at his pro day in April.

A former basketball player, Latimer has the ability to snatch the ball at its highest point, and knows how to use his body to shield defenders. Here is a quick glance at Latimer, as well as some of my observations in watching him play.

Vitals

Ht: 6’3″
Wt: 215 lbs.
40: 4.38-4.44
Bench reps: 23 (at 225 lbs)
Hands: 9 5/8″

2013 Stats

2nd-team All Big Ten
72 receptions
1,096 yards
9 TD

Positive Attributes

  • Big, strong receiver
  • Uses size well to shield defenders
  • Quick/agile
  • Excellent deep speed
  • Strength to beat press
  • Strong hands
  • Great leaping ability to win jump ball situations
  • Tremendous athleticism
  • Hands catcher, snatches the ball out of the air and doesn’t let many come into his body
  • Not a high drop rate, sure handed player
  • Aggressive
  • John Elway called him the ‘best blocking WR in the draft by far’

Negative Attributes

  • Coming off foot surgery
  • Still somewhat raw as route runner

How He Fits the Broncos

This seems like a pick for 2015, but the Broncos know that the health of Wes Welker is a major question mark, considering how much more likely the next concussion is than the last.

When Welker was out of the lineup last season, the Broncos’ passing game seriously suffered on third downs. The Broncos also lost Eric Decker to the Jets.

While Andre Caldwell played solid at times in a reserve role, and the Broncos also used $15 million to sign Emmanuel Sanders from the Steelers, upgrading at WR in this year’s draft was a no-brainer. Denver is getting a guy who will be their unquestioned ‘Y’ receiver along with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders for the future.

This is a player who can beat press/jams at the line of scrimmage, can block well in the running game (something Decker was very good at as well), and is a freakish athlete with a basketball background who soared up draft boards when teams found out he was fully recovered from foot surgery.

Bottom Line

Latimer’s draft process is not unlike that of Demaryius Thomas. He’s a big player with speed who played in an offense that didn’t always cater to his strengths but he benefit from it because of his strong ability to block in the running game. Denver is now even more locked and loaded at the WR position with Latimer in the fold, and he can learn for a year with the best offense in the NFL and be a primary piece of the offense in 2015.

I think the Broncos will be able to use Latimer in different packages and get him making plays with his speed after the catch as well in the short passing game.

To me, this is an A+ pick and a phenomenal value for a player that so many had projected to go in the first round in the weeks leading up to the draft.

Video footage courtesy of Draft Breakdown

Latimer vs. Bowling Green (2013)

Latimer vs. Penn State (2013)


Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Cody Latimer Denver Broncos Featured Indiana Hoosiers Popular

  • Matthew Heuser

    Am I the only one who absolutely hates? They have up a 4 and next years five for a player who sits on the bench. What happened to win now? What happened to Denver getting nasty on defense. Roby isn’t going to come in and shut down. And althought the three talib, ware and ward were added. I don’t think it makes them a top five defense. I think Borland or Mosley were the missing piece. I just don’t get it. I think elway needs to hand the keys to the draft to somebody else. This pick only insures no Super Bowl this year.

    • anon76returns

      Peyton will be back in 2015, so mortgaging the future for the 2014 season is not in anyone’s interest. Mosley was gone by 17. To get him there we would have had to give up our first (#31), 2nd (#63), 5th (#171), and 7th (#246), which would have way too expensive. As for Borland, Nate Irving has the same skill set as Borland, but is taller and more athletic.

      And MLB is by far our weakest position group. In the secondary we have a pro-bowl SS, an above-average FS, and quality depth in Q Carter, J Boyett, and D Ihenacho. At CB we have Talib, Webster & Roby fighting for the #2 (loser takes the Dime position), and the best slot CB in the game in Chris Harris. OLB has a pro-bowl caliber WIL in Trevathan, and a potential DMVP in Miller. On the line we have all-Pro Ware, pro-bowl caliber Knighton, Vickerston/Sly, and Wolfe/Jackson at the closed End, with Q Smith providing additional quality depth. The 2012 Broncos were a top-2 Defense, and with the exception of Bailey’s departure, this year’s Defense looks to be as good or better across the board. If we’re not a top 5 (at least) defense with this personnel, then the problem is coaching, because you’re not going to see a more talented group without sacrificing offense.

    • trinity

      Huh? Lol what do you mean what happened to “win now”? . Did you see all the moves they made in free agency? Even if they don’t pan out, and I think they will, nobody can take into consideration the moves they’ve made and accuse them of not trying to win now, so I find your point completely absurd.

      Second, who said they were trying to be a top 5 defense? They are trying to be a better, tougher defense, and they added the pieces to make that happen. They don’t need a top 5 defense with that offense, and if these guys come together defensively, they will be a huge upgrade even if they aren’t top 5.

      Third, in case you haven’t noticed, there is an age and injury issue at some positions, as well as contract situations. That is what this draft was about, making sure there isn’t a huge drop off when vets leave. This entire offseason the Broncos have wisely bolstered their present while also looking out for thier future, and that’s brilliant strategy. So the fact that you look at the moves they’ve made and conclude there will be no superbowl is laughable to me.

    • SayreBedinger

      Matthew I think yes, you’re part of a small, small minority that is displeased with this pick.

      • Matthew Heuser

        Middle linebacker is a must. There can’t be ANY holes on a defense. Don’t even compare Nate Irving to Borland. Nate isn’t a leader and hasn’t done shit in three years. The thing that pisses me off more than anything about this pick is that they gave up way too much for him. And the big three they signed this year outside of ward I could care less about any of them. Ware is regressing. And talib is injury prone and had never played a full season. I don’t agree that by adding them and them alone would increase the production of that siv of a defense. However Roby and Borland could have been that missing additions. Wide receiver in the later rounds could have been just as good.