Denver Broncos: Why they should consider Josh Gordon

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 09: Josh Gordon #12 celebrates his touchdown with Tyrod Taylor #5 and Devaroe Lawrence #99 of the Cleveland Browns during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 09: Josh Gordon #12 celebrates his touchdown with Tyrod Taylor #5 and Devaroe Lawrence #99 of the Cleveland Browns during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos have proven they can move the ball through the air, but would a player like Josh Gordon help them right now?

The Denver Broncos just won in impressive comeback fashion against the Oakland Raiders, moving to 2-0 on the season and tied for first place early on in the AFC West.

Even though the team has two comeback victories at home to start the season, they are not above getting better and at this point, there are potential upgrades available and maybe a really big upgrade in Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon.

The reasons against signing or trading for Josh Gordon perhaps outweigh the reasons for acquiring him, but the Broncos are proving they could use another deep threat offensively that can make impossible plays look easy.

They have a budding star in Courtland Sutton, whose snaps do not need to decrease. Sutton has played 70 percent of the team’s snaps through two weeks of the season. DaeSean Hamilton’s snap count could stand to increase, as he has only played in 18.57 percent of the offensive snaps.

Why would the Broncos bring in someone like Gordon when they have Sutton, Hamilton, and game two hero Tim Patrick behind Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders already? Because he makes everyone else better.

That’s reason number one why the Broncos should pursue Gordon. He helps make the vertical passing game better, he makes Sanders better, and he hopefully makes Thomas better.

Thomas is the second major reason why Denver needs to seriously consider making a run at Gordon.

Thomas is coming off of one of his worst games as a Bronco, and two starts into the season, he’s dropped too many passes for an NFL wide receiver over the course of a full season. His propensity for dropping the football stifled the Broncos’ offensive production at times in this game and took the unit off schedule. As one who believes Thomas is a future Hall of Famer, Ring of Famer, and probably the best all-around receiver in Denver Broncos history, his performance through two weeks is not acceptable of a WR1.

Adding Gordon would give the Broncos another vertical element to their offense, and also someone who can make big plays after the catch. They need a player who can perhaps keep Thomas on a bit more of a pitch count, as he has played a whopping 80 percent (112 in total) of the team’s snaps offensively through the first two weeks of the season.

Thomas needs to probably be playing roughly the same number of snaps as Sutton currently is, and Gordon could come in for 15-20 plays a game and really give you a significant boost.

That’s the thing with a signing like this — most people assume that teams have to shuffle their entire roster around or their entire depth chart and make room for a guy like Gordon, whose presence somehow demands he be targeted on every single play.

The Broncos could utilize someone like Gordon on the field at the same time as Thomas and Sanders, or Sutton and Sanders, or even just Sanders and a couple of tight ends. He would bring another element of speed and playmaking ability at wide receiver that Thomas is struggling to bring right now, and has struggled to bring for a couple of years.

In each of the last six seasons, Thomas’ yards per reception average has decreased. It’s not that Thomas can’t be an effective possession receiver, but he’s not the same downfield threat he once was, and even though on paper he should be an effective possession guy, you have to be able to catch the ball consistently to earn that distinction.

Right now, the most consistent production coming from the Broncos’ passing game is from Emmanuel Sanders, who was not targeted a single time in the first half against the Raiders.

The Broncos also have only five receivers and three running backs on their active roster. It’s not like they are desperate to get another skill player in the fold but having another weapon certainly wouldn’t hurt. Right now, they have more offensive linemen on the active roster than offensive weapons.

Number 12 just so happens to also be available.

A player like Josh Gordon could provide another spark for Denver’s offense, like a hitter in a baseball lineup when some of the power hitters are struggling. The Broncos, to use a baseball analogy, have an all-star lineup offensively but one of the guys they expected to be a cleanup hitter or at least someone who could drive in a lot of runs is striking out too much.

The law of averages would tell you that Thomas is battling against a couple of major factors and he looked like he might have gotten dinged up a bit in Sunday’s game as well. He’s battled through injuries and has given the Broncos everything he’s got, but 112 snaps in the first two games might not be the workload Thomas is best suited for right now.

Next. How all three phases performed against Oakland. dark

Bringing in Gordon would give the Broncos some fresh legs, big time speed, and a vertical threat that teams have to respect, not unlike Thomas was early on in his career. If the Broncos are turned off by Gordon off the field, it’s highly doubtful he’s going to get a big contract when he leaves Cleveland right away anyway. He’s going to have to prove himself this year.

Why not do it in Denver?