Former first-round pick getting shot with Denver Broncos

Former 1st-rounder getting a shot with Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Tom Pennington/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos have been depleted at the wide receiver position, to say the least. Injuries have wiped KJ Hamler, Tim Patrick, Jalen Virgil, and possibly now Jerry Jeudy (for Week 1) off the board before the games have even gotten going. As far as the Denver Broncos are concerned, it's mostly going to end up being "next man up", but the team did go after a couple of players after roster cuts to add to the practice squad.

Perhaps the most notable addition the Broncos made to the practice squad was former first-round pick Phillip Dorsett, who spent the offseason with the Broncos' Week 1 opponent -- the Las Vegas Raiders -- as a free agent signing. Dorsett is obviously in game shape, and the Broncos have a clear vision of how they want to utilize the former Miami superstar.

After adding him to the practice squad, Broncos head coach Sean Payton said:

"...we have a clear grasp as to what we think he does really well, and we will try to highlight those things."

Sean Payton (via Broncos PR)

Over the years, Payton's offenses have had a variety of vertical threats in the passing game and guys who have been able to flip the field with their deep speed. You could point to any number of players over the last 15-plus years like Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, Brandin Cooks, Kenny Stills, Ted Ginn Jr., and even our old friend Emmanuel Sanders.

The roles those guys played should speak volumes about the role Marvin Mims Jr. will eventually have in this Denver Broncos offense, perhaps even sooner than we think. But they can also serve as reminders of what Payton is capable of doing in his offensive system with speedy receivers who come in a variety of packages.

Perhaps the most apt comparison for someone like Phillip Dorsett playing in Denver is Ted Ginn Jr., both former first-round picks who didn't exactly live up to their billing as first-round players, but were sort of like three-point specialists in the NBA in a way. If you can shoot the three ball, you can get hot and you can change a game. In the NFL, if you've got speed, you can impact games even without getting the ball.

But especially when you get the ball.

Dorsett actually has a Super Bowl ring as well as a member of the New England Patriots' 2018-19 team, and he caught a pair of touchdowns on that Super Bowl run, including a touchdown in the Pats' narrow win over Kansas City in the playoffs.

The Broncos have elevated Dorsett to the active roster for Sunday's matchup against the Raiders, his former team, and we'll almost certainly see him get a package of plays. He has averaged 13.3 yards per reception over the course of his career and although you obviously don't expect him to go out there and get 12 targets or anything crazy, might we see a deep shot or two (or three) thrown Dorsett's way?


I think that is a possibility, and it's the aspect of his game that makes his presence on this roster exciting.

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