Taylor Gabriel, potential Denver Broncos free agent target

Dec 11, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (18) scores on a 64-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (18) scores on a 64-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Denver Broncos no doubt need some help offensively. Atlanta Falcons RFA Taylor Gabriel could be just what the doctor ordered…

The Denver Broncos are in need of some help offensively this offseason, and Atlanta Falcons receiver Taylor Gabriel could be an ideal fit.

Of course, the Broncos have yet to make an official hire at head coach, but certainly this would seem like an even more sensible fit if the man that is hired to run the team is Kyle Shanahan, the current offensive coordinator of the Falcons.

Under Shanahan, with both Cleveland and Atlanta, Gabriel has been awesome. In 2014, he caught 36 passes for 721 yards and a touchdown, and this past season, he set a career mark with six touchdown catches, hauling in 35 passes in total. He also had four carries for 51 yards and a touchdown this season, leading the Atlanta Falcons’ receivers in total touchdowns this year.

Gabriel’s effectiveness from a variety of spots on the field, but his abilities as a third receiver would be more than welcomed in Denver’s offense, which currently consists of Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and a bunch of ‘guys’. Gabriel has elite speed and quickness, and clearly is a great fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

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The Broncos would have to make a pretty significant investment in Gabriel to get him in orange and blue. He’s a restricted free agent, which means that he’ll be given an opportunity to sign a ‘tender’ from the Falcons and depending how high that tender is valued, he’ll be worth potentially a second or third round draft pick if any team signs him to an offer sheet and the Falcons don’t match.

Luckily for the Broncos, they will have three third round picks, so potentially relinquishing one for Gabriel wouldn’t be that big of a deal. He could price himself out of Denver’s range if Atlanta gives him a second round tender, but they have some pretty significant needs to fill of their own.

Having Gabriel penciled in as the slot for Denver’s offense would be phenomenal. This is a team that struggled to score from anywhere on the field, struggled to convert third downs, struggled to keep drives alive or put the ball in in the red zone. The last time they made a significant investment in a slot receiver with two outside guys as talented as they have, it turned out pretty nice.

Gabriel would be a great pickup for this team, but would come at a significant cost. Is it something Elway would be willing to do? At only 25 years of age, this is a move that could make a lot of sense if the Broncos are able to fill other needs appropriately.