Denver Broncos: 2018 roster position-by-position overview

John Elway, executive vice president of football operations for the Denver Broncos. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
John Elway, executive vice president of football operations for the Denver Broncos. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Wide Receivers

Due to the poor quarterback play, among other factors, the Broncos’ receiver group did not play up to their, or anyone’s, standards.

The leading receiver? Demaryius Thomas (which shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody). The issue? While Thomas had a decent season, it was still his worst since 2011, his second year in the league.

He finished the 2017 season with just 83 receptions for 949 yards. The last five seasons before last year, he eclipsed 1,000 yards and had double-digit touchdowns in three of those years.

Emmanuel Sanders had a down year, as well. The 2017 season was also his worst since his second season in the league when he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He caught just 47 passes for 555 yards and two touchdowns.

With Peyton Manning, the top two Broncos receivers caught 921 passes for 10,441 yards.

In regards to departures, a bunch of guys from last year’s team have left. The production? 132 receptions and 1,405 receiving yards. The players who produced those stats were: running back C.J. Anderson (now with the Panthers), Bennie Fowler III (now with the Bears), running back Jamaal Charles (free agent, not retained), and tight ends A.J Derby (claimed off waivers by Miami during the season), and Virgil Green (free agent who signed with the Los Angeles Chargers).

Now, the Broncos receiver position is currently as follows: Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, rookie draft picks Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton, Isaiah McKenzie, Jordan Taylor, Carlos Henderson. The team also has six others, who are inexperienced: John Diarse, Jordan Leslie, Kenny Bell, Jimmy Williams, Tim Patrick, and River Cracraft.

Outside of Thomas and Sanders, the next most experienced wideout is Jordan Taylor, who is in just his third season in the NFL and coming off of double hip surgeries this offseason.

It is early, so it remains to be seen which receivers make the final cut. The Broncos receiving corps contains a lot of new faces, but with newly acquired quarterback Case Keenum, the changes at wide receiver aren’t a big deal, since their chemistry is not continuing on from last year.