Broncos 7th-round sleeper wide receiver raising eyebrows at rookie minicamp

Sean Payton may have found a late-round gem at the WR position.
Denver Broncos
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The Denver Broncos' annual rookie minicamp is officially underway following two productive practices where the team essentially focused on conditioning and position drills. First-round rookie quarterback Bo Nix was seen throwing to his new receivers and familiar face Troy Franklin, who was Nix's teammate in his final two seasons at the University of Oregon. However, one rookie wide receiver happened to catch a few eyes by surprise including head coach Sean Payton.

In the few drills that the media released, rookie seventh-round pick Devaughn Vele looked extremely impressive for a 6 foot 5, 210-pound receiver. One of the lone concerns with Vele coming out of school was his age at 26 years old for a rookie. However, in terms of what the Broncos are immediately adding in their receiver room, Vele looks a lot more pro-ready than some may have initially thought.

The former Ute looks very sharp in and out of his cuts and moves very efficiently for a receiver that is six feet and five inches tall. Vele's footwork in general reminds you of a receiver who already possesses multiple years of pro experience. I don't think it's a far-reach to say he already has some of the more talented footwork on the team at the wide receiver position. What seemed like a questionable draft selection at the time, now looks smarter and smarter by the day.

Vele, who is coincidentally wearing No. 81, mentioned to the media that he looks up to Broncos veteran wide receiver Tim Patrick and is aware of the comparisons: "I even heard those things at Utah. I try to model my game after all of the great players. It's great to have someone to look up to and get under his wing." Head coach Sean Payton has even mentioned multiple times now how Vele's skillset and traits are comparable to Patrick who also attended the University of Utah.


Considering his hard work ethic and overlooked assets as a receiver, it almost seems perfect for Vele to become Patrick's successor in Denver. His long size and undeniable talent at the position will match perfectly for what Payton is expecting out of the 26-year-old rookie.

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