Denver Broncos Game 1 Position/Player Grades

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Aug 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) is tackled after a reception by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) and free safety Earl Thomas (29) in the first quarter of a preseason game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Wide Receiver

  1. Demaryius Thomas: A

Thomas picked off where he left off. Caught five of six passes that went his way. He looked a lot more willing to get physical, which is a good sign.

  1. Emmanuel Sanders: C

Sanders wasn’t seen much during the game. Not talking about snaps, he saw 21, but the fact he wasn’t looked at in the passing game. Went through the game keeping an eye on Sanders, by the end of the play someone else grabbed my attention.

  1. Wes Welker: B-

Welker put in one catch that made him look like he was 6’4”. Saw him open a few times as well, but wasn’t targeted. Looks like the usual Welker.

  1. Andre Caldwell: C+

Caldwell had a nice catch, where he separated early and came down with it. Didn’t notice him outside of that play, much. Played 11 snaps, six were as a blocker.

  1. Cody Latimer: C-

Latimer was targeted once, was on a pass a little high that he could’ve come down with. But no fault on him for being unable to. Other than that, he didn’t show much to fit the hype around him. Struggled to separate and completely whiffed on a run block.

  1. Jordan Norwood: B

Not only did Norwood look good as a returner, but he looked good working out of the slot. He did only have one return, but he was patient, waited for an opening then burst through it for a nice return. Like previously mentioned, Norwood put in a good performance out of the slot as well. Always looked like he had separation from his cover man, which is how one gets open. On his touchdown, it was a good catch to pull it in after he got separation off the snap.

  1. Greg Wilson: C

Had a total of 9 snaps on offense. Did nothing that caught my eye in a positive or negative way.

  1. Nathan Palmer: C

Played 13 snaps, eight of which were a run play. Didn’t particularly stand out as a blocker, nor as a receiver.

  1. Isaiah Burse: C-

Seven snaps on offense and put out three returns, two kickoff and one punt. As a receiver he didn’t stand out. With the returns, he had one solid kick return. The other kick return he had, he tried to make something out of a squib kick. Nothing was there, he did display nice lateral agility shaking off the first couple tackles before he finally got brought down. Despite that, his punt return was rough. Again he displayed lateral agility, but unable to turn it into something. Lateral agility is nice to have, but if he can’t turn it up-field, then he is losing his grip as the returner.

  1. Bennie Fowler: C-

He played decently, if it weren’t for a drop, he would’ve graded out as a C+. But alas, he had the drop. As a receiver fighting for a spot on the practice squad at least, a drop never helps your case.

  1. Greg Hardin: C-

He didn’t have a drop like Fowler, but he didn’t play that well either. On his one target, he lost the ball in the lights. On one run play, Hardin whiffed on a block that would’ve allowed the RB to turn the edge.

Overall: C+

The top bit of the receivers handed out pretty good performances for the most part. Norwood was a pleasant surprise. The bottom half of the receivers didn’t look as good, but that is expected with majority of them being rookies.