Denver Broncos: Three reasons to avoid free agent wide receivers
Denver already has a solid core
The Denver Broncos invested heavily in the wide receiver position during the 2018 NFL Draft bringing in former SMU Mustang Courtland Sutton in the second round and Penn State possession receiver Daesean Hamilton in the fourth.
While one season is not enough time to determine how the rest of these young player’s careers will go, the Denver Broncos saw enough in a short time that they were willing to trade away future Ring of Fame honoree Demaryius Thomas.
Sutton had a quietly strong rookie season hauling in 42 receptions for 704 yards and 4 touchdowns. The 704 receiving yards were good enough for 3rd best among all rookies. What’s more impressive is Sutton’s yard per catch average of 16.8 yards per catch, which was 7th best in the entire NFL last year.
All this despite the fact that Sutton was a relatively unpolished (albeit incredibly gifted) receiver coming out of college and was catching balls from conservatively terrible Case Keenum.
DaeSean Hamilton, meanwhile, took a little bit more time to warm up in the Denver Broncos offense, but in the last quarter of the season, he had 25 receptions for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns. If you were to spread that out over a course of a full season (hypothetically of course), that would be 100 receptions for 726 yards and 8 touchdowns.
John Elway spoke glowingly of the two receivers in his NFL Combine press conference saying this:
"They both got better. I think that greatest thing for them is the fact that they got a lot of playing time late because of the injuries we did have. We have high expectations for them that they’re going to make that jump from the first year to the second year. Obviously, they have a long way to go, but we’re excited about the first year that they had. They’re workers, and I really think the sky is the limit for both of them. (quotes via Broncos PR)"
Let’s not forget that Emmanuel Sanders is an elite receiver when healthy and apparently is recovering quite nicely from the Achilles injury he suffered late last season. Vic Fangio is excited about Sander’s return and expects big things from the 31-year old wideout this season. What’s more promising is that Elway confirmed that Sander’s option will be picked up meaning he’s all but guaranteed to be back in Denver in 2019.
Bringing in a premier free agent wide receiver may improve the squad right now, but would limit the number of reps that Sutton and Hamilton received, which could severely stunt their impressive growth thus far.