3 free agents Broncos should consider signing before Week 3

Denver Broncos, Jared Cook - Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos, Jared Cook - Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 3
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos, John Ross – Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

Denver Broncos free agent option no. 3: John Ross III, WR

At this point, just go out and get a receiver. Any receiver with some sort of pedigree in the NFL will do. I’m being a little sarcastic, of course, but the Broncos really do need to start adding some competent bodies at the wide receiver position.

I think a lot of people are under the illusion that wide receiver is not a premium position in today’s NFL. The reality is, it is.

When you have dominant receivers, defenses simply cannot keep up. Even if your defense has one or two great corners, how are you supposed to match up with a team that has multiple dynamic receivers that can win at all levels of the field? The Denver Broncos went into 2022 training camp with a really nice problem on their hands of an abundance of receivers on the roster.

Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, rookie Montrell Washington, special teams ace Tyrie Cleveland, and then you had all of the players competing for spots in the offseason, one of which made the roster (UDFA Jalen Virgil) another of which would have made the roster were it not for a high-ankle sprain in the final preseason game (Brandon Johnson).

The problem is, that depth has been worn so thin. Tim Patrick has a torn ACL. KJ Hamler is being brought back slowly after severe injuries last year and any contributions from him this season will borderline be icing on the cake. Jerry Jeudy suffered a rib injury against the Texans.

The Broncos aren’t deep at receiver anymore. That’s where we’re at. The depth needs to be replenished, and I’m all for taking shots on players like John Ross. Even though Ross himself struggles with injuries, taking a shot on him is worthwhile when you consider that he’s only 26 and averaged over 20 yards per catch in 10 games with the Giants last year.

Especially with the league’s practice squad exemptions for veterans, why would you not take this risk? What’s the worst that could happen — Ross goes out and gets a chance to play and gets hurt just like almost all of the rest of the receivers? The best case scenario here is that you’d have an inexpensive former first-round pick who runs in the 4.2 range averaging 18-20 yards per reception for you. The worst-case scenario is that he gets hurt and you are in the same predicament you’re in now.

Why would you not at least give that a shot? The same is true of acquiring Will Fuller. It’s just a better option to try something there and see if you can strike gold or catch lightning in a bottle than to simply maintain the status quo and continue to struggle. A player like John Ross as a vertical threat in this kind of offense could be outstanding.