The Denver Broncos have been nothing if not intentional with their practice squad wide receiver pickups, and Chad Hansen is an intriguing one.
The Denver Broncos had hoped to put wide receiver/punt returner Isaiah McKenzie back on their practice squad after his latest stint on the active roster, but they subjected him to waivers one too many times and he ended up making a huge impact for the Buffalo Bills in their win this past weekend.
With McKenzie gone, the Broncos had an opening in their receiver room, and they may have ended up with a better prospect at the position anyway.
The Broncos added former Cal Bears receiver Chad Hansen to the practice squad this week, a fourth-round pick of the New York Jets in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Hansen’s presence on the roster helps ease the blow of losing two draft picks at the position from the same class (Carlos Henderson, Isaiah McKenzie) in less than a year and with really nothing to show for it.
Though Hansen is merely a practice squad addition at this point, it should be noted that arguably no team in the NFL has been as intentional about developing practice squad receivers as the Broncos in recent years and seeing to it that they contribute eventually.
That list of former practice squad receivers to make it to the active roster includes Bennie Fowler, Jordan Taylor, Tim Patrick, and River Cracraft among others.
The Broncos have made a habit of promoting practice squad receivers and the addition of Hansen is an exciting one for a variety of reasons.
A former transfer out of Idaho State, Hansen was lightly recruited coming out of high school and didn’t make a significant impact until his final year at Cal with Davis Webb at quarterback.
In just 10 games in his last season of college ball, Hansen racked up 92 receptions for 1,249 yards and 11 touchdowns, earning All-PAC 12 honors while also generating a ton of hype from NFL Draft experts and analysts.
Hansen tested well prior to the NFL Draft, though not as well as some had hoped, timing out in the 4.5 range at the Scouting Combine. He ended up breaking the 4.5 mark at the Cal pro day, but still fell to the late portion of the fourth round after many felt he would be picked on day two.
Getting the 6-foot-2 Hansen into the wide receiver room with Zach Azzani gives the Broncos yet another potential weapon to work with and someone who could very well crack the active roster at some point even the rest of this season.
Coming out of Cal, Hansen had the look of a really solid number two receiver who could play inside or outside with an expanded route tree. The Broncos will work with him there and give themselves a potentially dangerous young player to go with their stellar young group of receivers already.
As far as midseason practice squad pickups go, this is a pretty fun one and the Broncos got a player many had ranked ahead of even their own third-round pick Carlos Henderson in the draft process.