Could The Denver Broncos have a trio of 1000-yard receivers?

Philadelphia Eagles v Denver Broncos
Philadelphia Eagles v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

Before we know it, the Denver Broncos will be kicking off the 2023 regular season, and we will see a lot of questions answered, such as how the team will look under new head coach Sean Payton, and if the Russell Wilson of last season was just an unfortunate fluke.

With the Denver Nuggets winning their first NBA championship on Monday night, optimism is surely in the elevated air in the Mile High City, and that optimism is already beginning to transfer over to the Denver Broncos. Nuggets fans know that the media has never taken the franchise seriously, and that lasted all the way through the Finals. Fans also know the Denver Broncos have been given the same treatment.

While it's fair to say the Denver Broncos do not have a Nikola Jokic-esque player at the moment, they do have Russell Wilson, who knows what it takes to reach the promised land. Along with Russ, the Broncos also boast a strong receiving core in the likes of Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Tim Patrick. There is heavy optimism the Broncos' offense will fare much better under head coach Sean Payton. If it clicks as much as is expected, could the Broncos not have one or two, but three 1000-yard receivers?

It may seem like a stretch, but it feels like anything is possible at this point. Of course, Tim Patrick will be returning after missing the 2022 NFL season with a torn ACL. Prior to his injury, Patrick only continued to get better and better--there is a chance we see that trend continue once Patrick steps back onto the field. In 2022, Russ seemed to struggle to find chemistry with either Courtland Sutton or Jerry Jeudy at first--perhaps Tim Patrick is going to be the target that automatically "clicks" for him.

Tim Patrick finishing the 2023 season with 1000 or more receiving yards may seem like a stretch but don't lose sight of what we have seen Tim Patrick do, and how quickly he became a household name in Broncos Country. When it comes to Patrick, it feels like anything could happen.

Despite the Denver Broncos' downward spiral on offense in 2022, Jerry Jeudy had his best season yet. For how poor both the offense and Russell Wilson were in 2022, it is truly pretty impressive that Jeudy narrowly missed a 1000-yard campaign, finishing the season with 972 receiving yards. Though Jeudy finished the 2021 season with no touchdowns, he quadrupled his numbers from his rookie season, finishing 2022 with nine touchdowns. Again, this is pretty impressive considering it doesn't even feel like the Broncos scored nine touchdowns total on the season.

After dealing with drop issues early in his career and finishing his second NFL season with no touchdowns, many people quickly ruled Jerry Jeudy out as a legitimate NFL player and only expected to see regression going forward. Jeudy's response was to emerge as a pretty clear-cut WR1. If Jeudy could do this in a season like the one the Broncos had in 2022, it seems logical that he can greatly outdo his 2022 campaign with more consistency in play-calling and at quarterback.

Though there was wide speculation that Courtland Sutton would be traded to build draft capital in the offseason, it appears that he will at least be around for the 2022 season. Though Sutton finished the season with 829 receiving yards (143 less than Jeudy), he had just two touchdowns on the year. The lack of touchdowns seems like an unfair statistic against receivers when considering Russell Wilson's struggles in 2022. However, it did seem like an opportune time for the Broncos to evaluate what they could get for Sutton.

Courtland Sutton knows his time with the Denver Broncos may be running out. This is where we will see him make the best of it and prove everyone wrong. Sutton had a 1000+ yard receiving season in 2019, and he is very capable of doing it again with the right coaching and personnel. Since being drafted in 2018, Courtland Sutton has played under five different head coaches, nearly averaging a new one each year: Vance Joseph, Vic Fangio, Nathaniel Hackett, Jerry Rosburg, and Sean Payton. Though Rosburg did a stellar job with the team in his short stint as interim head coach, aside from a "to be determined" with Sean Payton, the aforementioned head coaches are certainly not a recipe for success for an offensive skill player.

For a team that had some of the lowest offensive rankings in 2022, it may seem improbable that the Denver Broncos go from that to having not just one, but three receivers finish the season with 1000 or more receiving yards when not even one was able to accomplish that in 2022. If you think it seems unlikely, you are right--it does seem unlikely, if not improbable.

However, Russell Wilson's teammates believe in his ability to come back better than ever in 2023, and Sean Payton has a proven resume, something the Denver Broncos have not had in a long time (Vance Joseph, Vic Fangio, and Nathaniel Hackett were all first-time head coaches upon being hired in Denver). Truthfully, we have not even seen the surface scratched of what this trio of wide receivers can do as a tandem with a consistent offense and quarterback. We haven't even scratched the surface of how good this team can be.

So, it may seem improbable, maybe even impossible that the Denver Broncos have a trio of 1000-yard receivers in 2023, but we may see an entirely different team unlocked with Sean Payton's set of keys. With all of the coaching and personnel issues over the years, it has always felt like the team is just a step away.

This trio may have finally arrived at their destination.

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