Why Troy Franklin will be a top 3 wide receiver from the 2024 NFL Draft

Troy Franklin was widely considered a top pass catcher going into the pre-draft process yet he fell to the fourth round. Here's why he's about to prove how big of a mistake that was.
Denver Broncos
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Troy Franklin was one of the best wide receivers at the collegiate level this past year. Multiple draft experts had him listed as a top-50 prospect with a late first or early second-round pick projection. Somehow the Denver Broncos were able to be patient and select him #102 overall at the top of the fourth round.

Franklin was the #6 ranked receiver coming out of the draft NFL Combine with a score of 84. His pro-comp was Chris Olave, a first-round selection at #11 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. He's started every available game at the college level and caught a whopping 25 touchdowns in a total of 41 games. He increased his yards per reception every year as well, going from 11.6, 14.1, and finally topping out at 17.1 in his final season. As you can see from the video above, his footwork is on another level and he creates separation at multiple levels of the field.

When comparing him to his competition, predicting a top-three ceiling for Franklin comes only at the heels of Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers. I know Rome Odunze might be a threat for this position as well but he joins a loaded receiver room in Chicago where getting effective targets might be challenging early on.

The other thing that propels Franklin higher into this list is the obvious connection that he will have that others won't. He's joining the same quarterback that he's been catching passes from for the past two seasons at Oregon. That level of chemistry is bound to only pay positive dividends early on.

Payton has been very successful with his pass catchers in the past. His play designs and concepts allow his quarterback to find these players with open space in front of them to create after the catch. Having someone with the elite footwork and bursts of speed that Franklin possesses will be riveting to watch. This is a guy who clocked a 4.41 at the combine. That's definitely quick, but it's more than just speed. It's the elusiveness to create separation from his defender allowing himself a greater catching radius.

And that right there is what I'm most excited about. Both Franklin and Mims Jr., the second-round selection from the 2023 NFL Draft, are excellent in the deep passing game. Payton has stated multiple times how operating a heavy yet effective run game will only provide opportunities for the offense to open up for larger plays. Having a player like Franklin who excels in his pre-snap decisions then accelerating to top speed once he has his defender beat will result in multiple long gains from this new era of Broncos Football.

Franklin displayed what he and Nix can do together these past two years with a defensive head coach at the collegiate level. You now give him and Nix a Hall of Fame offensive Head Coach who has turned multiple wide receivers into top-level pass catchers and yeah, I'm excited. You should be as well. This is a player with a decorated pedigree of multiple all-time school records who is also coming into the league with a chip on his shoulder. He wants to prove he was selected far later than he should of been. If he can control that emotion and turn it into production, the Denver Broncos could finally be looking at that top of the line wide receiver they've desperately lacked since the late great Demaryius Thomas.