Denver Broncos: Tim Patrick in line for huge 2020 role

Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Tim Patrick is in line for a huge role with the 2020 Denver Broncos.

I will be the first to admit it: I sold Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick way short in 2020, and the regular season hasn’t even started yet.

In my defense, the Denver Broncos made the wide receiver position a huge priority in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Of their 10 selections, three were at the wide receiver position, and two of those were the team’s top two picks this year. Tim Patrick became somewhat of an afterthought when the Broncos drafted Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, and even to some degree with the addition of special teams ace Tyrie Cleveland.

Patrick has been a tremendous story with the Broncos, coming over from the San Francisco 49ers in 2017 after getting his first break in the NFL from the Baltimore Ravens.

Patrick suffered a leg injury in college that threatened his playing career, but he’s shown fortitude and determination over the past three years fighting his way onto the Denver Broncos’ active roster and was even one of the team’s IR/return players in 2019.

The Broncos gave Patrick a one-year contract in the 2020 offseason to come back, a one-year deal worth $750,000.

Patrick is a 6-foot-4 receiver with some similarities physically and stylistically to that of Courtland Sutton. There is obviously a talent and consistency discrepancy between the two, but Patrick has made some big plays with the Broncos and some of those big plays have come in clutch, game-deciding situations.

Although in two seasons with Denver (24 games) Patrick has only 39 receptions, he has 29 first downs and a touchdown, and has gotten better each year he’s been with the team.

That has extended into the 2020 offseason where Patrick has established himself as one of the Broncos’ top four receivers at training camp, running consistently with the first-team offense. It looks as though the Broncos’ primary ‘starting’ offense will involve Sutton and Patrick as the outside receivers with Jerry Jeudy playing in the slot.

We should still see plenty of DaeSean Hamilton and eventually KJ Hamler, but Patrick’s spot with the first-team offense hasn’t budged.

At his salary and with his injury history, I thought Patrick would certainly be a player the Broncos would look for someone to take his job. He’s going to be 27 this year and there are younger guys on the team with more impressive athletic metrics, but Patrick seems to have won favor with yet another offensive coaching staff and we know what he brings to the table on special teams.

With his abilities as a big-play receiver and on special teams, along with the fact that KJ Hamler remains sidelined with an injury, it seems Patrick is poised for a much bigger role in 2020 than I anticipated.

His presence atop the depth chart was not merely seniority, and he’s proven over the course of camp that he belongs not only on the active roster, but firmly in the game plan.

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Hopefully, 2020 can be a breakout year for Patrick, and he can give the Broncos yet another downfield weapon with size and big-play ability.