2016 NFL Draft Denver Broncos Scheme related positional review: WR

2016 NFL Draft WR class evaluation:

Contrary to what national media is picturing, this year class to me looks very talented on the top end. I see much more talented WR that could go in the 1st round or to whom I would give a 1st round grade than national media. For what the Broncos look for there will be guys here and there but is important to mention that WR group is really deep in Broncos depth. Major need would be to find a guy that could study behind Emmanuel Sanders for a year and would take over if Sanders leaves via FA in 2017. The answer is a 3rd round spent on Michael Mitchell from Georgia. There are other candidates in the 3rd or lower rounds too, but he fits the bill right away.

What the Broncos look for:

Denver will look for a talented nº2 a la Sanders: quickness, speed, physicality and route running.

Type of player the Broncos look for:

Speed, quickness, polished routes and physicality.

Best prospects related to team scheme and required skills

  1. Malcolm Mitchell (Georgia, rSr, 6’0’’, 198 lbs): Best prospect related to scheme and skills required.
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
4th 3rd

General Overview: underrated prospect. He’s very quick and has some speed. Plus he run precise routes and is a willing blocker, trying to stay with his assignment until the whistle. He will have to gain power and strength to be ready to take hits in the NFL. Has some elusiveness, given his quickness and also very good athleticism. He might need a bit of time but could seriously develop into a nº2 receiver.

My Broncos Evaluation: I have a higher grade on him in my Broncos board because he’s exactly the kind of WR the Broncos lack depth behind Emmanuel Sanders. I think that he could backup one year Sanders, get used to NFL speed and power, play some special teams and then step up in a starting role after Sanders will leave in FA (which is probable). UPDATE: I just read the Broncos interviewed him at the Senior Bowl.

  1. Will Fuller (Notre Dame, Jr, 6’0”, 186 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
2nd 1st – 2nd

General Overview: Maybe not the most athletic WR in pads, but has really good speed, thought not great, unmatched quickness in his first steps and plays physical football. He looks to be a true competitor. Has some decent blocking skills too. Looks to have really reliable hands and great concentration. Didn’t ask to run complex routs but able to break free using double steps and misdirection.

My Broncos Evaluation: I might not be on the board when Denver will select at 31st overall, but if he would, I think that even with the great depth the Broncos have at the moment, Fuller for skills and style of playing, would be a great addition. Would not see the field that much in 2016 but he will be then ready to get the n2 WR spot in 2017 once Sanders will be let go in free agency. I really do like Fuller a lot, Treadwell is the best WR prospect in this draft but Fuller is the second best option at WR for the Broncos and maybe an option at 31st. In my personal board he’s a top 20 prospect and should not be there at 30 something….

  1. Leonte Carroo (Rutgers, Sr, 6’0”, 211 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
3rd 3rd – 4th

General Overview: quick and fast. Has soft hands and looks to have a physical style of play. Does a good job blocking in the running game. His short area quickness is really good. Has great progression and really good speed in open field. Runs really smoothly. Didn’t have to run complex routs.

My Broncos Evaluation: although the Broncos have really no need at WR, he’s one that could add something to the team, especially if selected in the 4th round that would be a really good bargain. He might not have elite speed, but is really smooth, has quickness, great body balance, plays really physical and could play slot or also outside WR a bit. I really do like him, I just downgrade him a bit because I think that in the third round the Broncos if in doubt, might decide to go on other position where there is a bit more of need. In the 4th round they should find a way to trade up and get him. If at the end Denver FO decides to take him in the third, I’m completely ok with.

  1. Aaron Burbridge (Michigan State, Sr, 6’0”, 206 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
3rd – 4th 3rd

General Overview: good WR that looks complete. Has good hands, good speed, has a thick body that helps him absorb hits. Has good tape on blocking in running and passing plays. Has some quickness and lacks a bit of elusiveness, He’s not the most physical receiver but does not shy away from contact and always looks for extra yards after the catch.

My Broncos Evaluation: I like the complete player. He has good speed to play outside but also mental toughness and the physical body to play crossing routes. He can block or don’t shy away from it. I like what he can bring to the team, does not have the speed and athleticism of Sanders but could be useful as nº2 WR after Sanders will leave in FA.

  1. Cody Core (Ole Miss, Sr, 6’3”, 205 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
5th 4th – 5th

General Overview : tall and thin, but fast and with very good speed. Willing blocker will have to learn more complex routes. No indication of returning skills. He’s a vertical threat that can block some. Will have to become stronger in the NFL.

My Broncos Evaluation: If the Broncos wants spee,d he has it and also can block. I really do think the Broncos looks for players that could be dual threat on offense, play in pass plays and in running plays and he has the tools to do it. Still he’s a bit raw, having been mainly a vertical threat at Ole Miss. He has potential IMO and between the compensatory 4th rounder and the early 5th rounder could be targeted by the Broncos. I think he’s a bit underrated at the moment and could bring some much appreciated pure speed to the Broncos roster.

  1. Jaydon Mickens (Washington, Sr, 5’10”, 174 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
5th – 6th 6th

General Overview : quick , fast and with some speed. Smaller type of WR that has a lot of elusiveness with his low centre of gravity and can make opponents miss by quickly changing direction. Will need to get stronger in the NFL. Might be asked to return kickoffs.

My Broncos Evaluation: I like him as kick returner and special teamer. His quickness and speed is outstanding and together with his short area quickness and elusiveness could make him a special teams ace.

  1. Chris Brown (Notre Dame, Sr, 6’2”, 194 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
7th 7th – CFA

General Overview : good prospect that lacks explosion and elite speed but can block in run and pass plays and can run some good routes. Looks smaller that his actual height. Has some latent really good athleticism and makes plays at all levels in the field.

My Broncos Evaluation: it could be interesting to double check him in training camp because too much attention has been reserved to Fuller and he almost went unnoticed in the draft process. He’s not elite in any category but does some of them very well. He could be a finding.

  1. Devon Cajuste (Stanford, rSr, 6’4”, 234 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
7th– CFA 6th

General Overview : great size for a WR. Lacks speed and acceleration for being a WR in the NFL and looks natural as TE. He can block some and has enough speed as TE. Knows how to get open and stretch the field. Does not look very athletic but has very good body balance for a guy of his size and can make very athletic catches.

My Broncos Evaluation: I like him a lot. I think he could develop in a great pass catcher TE for the Broncos, they had an interview with him. I like that he knows how to get open and makes great catches. Could be used to move the chains or letting him stretch the field and use his size as advantage against NFL DBs. He will be a project, having player as WR in Stanford, he could need one year to adjust to field position and speed and power of NFL players but I think that under Denver coaches he could nicely develop into a dangerous weapon.

  1. Hunter Sharp (Utah State, Sr, 5’11’’’, 198 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
CFA 6th – 7th

General Overview : smaller type of WR that has some explosion and good body balance. Elusive when has the field in from of him. Good kick returner. He was suspended for two games in 2015, could have some character issues. Runs good routes and can catch the ball both in the perimeter and downfield.

My Broncos Evaluation: The Broncos interviewed him at the Shrine game. I like what I saw in his videos. He is a very good returner that is also elusive and fast enough to create separation in the passing game. Will have to get better as a blocker but definitely is worth a shot at the end of the draft.


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