Denver Broncos: Demaryius Thomas On Mt. Rushmore of Denver Receivers

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11: Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11: Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas /

At the end of the line, Demaryius Thomas will find himself on the Mt. Rushmore of Denver wide receivers to wear a Broncos uniform.

Drafted in 2010, three picks ahead of the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas became a Denver Bronco. Thomas never saw significant playing time in his first season, but one play kicked off stardom for the Georgia Tech product.

Quarterback Tim Tebow threw a slant to Thomas on the first play of overtime in the 2011 AFC Wild Card game. The rest is history.

The connection from Tebow to Thomas was the “jumper cable” to Thomas’ career. The 6’3 frame plays bigger and the separation with a stiff arm by Thomas to avoid Ike Taylor will be remembered in Broncos history. Thomas’ stiff arm provides strength and power many of the past Denver receivers never possessed.

At one point, ex-Detroit Lions and former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket wide receiver Calvin Johnson, was the face of the NFL at his position.

Now Demaryius Thomas, another former Georgia Tech alum, has transformed his career since the Tebow play. After Tebow left, Thomas jump started his star wide receiver status under Peyton Manning.

Thomas’ route running was his biggest weakness coming out of college. With Manning, it sky rocketed. During the Manning throwing camps, Thomas and the Hall of Fame quarterback worked together to establish rapport. It became apparent Thomas had to jump start the route running process.

Fast forward to the past few seasons, Demaryius Thomas’ toughness came into question. Thomas has played through numerous severe injuries. It is time to throw away every notion Thomas is soft at the wide receiver position.

In fact, he is the most under-appreciated Broncos wide receiver in team history. Thomas’ toughness should be praised instead of criticized. Over time, Thomas convinced me he is a better wide receiver than Dez Bryant due to his play.

Since 2012, Thomas registered 1,000 yards receiving in six straight seasons. This “foot on the gas pedal” mentality by Thomas has placed him third in team history in receiving yards. When the seasons ends, he has a great chance to pass Shannon Sharpe placing him second all-time in the same category.

Thomas currently stands at 8,804 yards. It will continue to grow moving him near the top 50 in career receiving yards. There are only two active players ahead of him, but regardless will encounter a massive climb up the ranks if he records 1,000 yard seasons continuously since 2012.

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If Thomas ends his entire career with the Denver Broncos, he has a great chance to pass Rod Smith and Shannon Sharpe in touchdowns and receiving yards. Smith stands with 68 touchdowns and Sharpe has 55.

Thomas will break Sharpe’s touchdowns at some point this season. Thomas’ inconsistency on catches remains a mystery for some. This could change the point of view. Smith tallied a lower catch percentage than Thomas (Smith, 60.3% and Thomas, 61%).

Once Thomas reaches the end of his career his face will be etched on the Mt. Rushmore of Denver Broncos receivers and might be one step closer Canton.