The Denver Broncos have been in an offensive slump for years. Sure, they won Super Bowl 50, but that victory was based on the clichéd “defense wins championships” model.
This year could be different. The Broncos now have the offensive tools to turn things around and ensure the team doesn’t have to rely on defense to win.
Why the Denver Broncos Offense Has the Tools to Compete in the AFC West
And that’s definitely a step in the right direction. Big moves in free agency and the draft, have given Broncos Country hope.
Smarter Tackles and Guards
The offensive line is all but solidified, with Garett Bolles in his sophomore year at left guard and Ronald Leary at left guard. The former demonstrated early in his professional career that he will do whatever it takes to take down opponents. He clearly has the skill set – he just needs to think before he acts, seeing as a lot of his zeal resulted in penalties last season. Meanwhile, Leary played at a Pro Bowl level back in his first year at Denver –a re-ignition of that spark would be ideal. Rounding out the O-line at right tackle is Jared Veldheer, whom Denver acquired from the Arizona Cardinals, and with good reason.
More Touches for the Core Receiver Duo
Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were the golden wide receiver duo once upon a time. While they’re still considered one of the best tandems in the league, 2017 was a bland year for them. A shift in scheme favored Jordan Taylor and meant the pair didn’t get even half as many touches as they did the previous season.
There’s reason to believe that Thomas and Sanders can no longer provide the explosive plays that will counter opposing defenses. Last season, most opponents played their safeties outside, forcing Denver’s quarterback to throw to the middle.
Explosive Plays by the New Wideouts
Keeping this in mind, general manager John Elway felt it necessary to draft two receivers in April.
Courtland Sutton was a surprise second-round pick, but as Sayre Bedinger of Predominantly Orange says, he is one of the most efficient deep ball receivers and has an outstanding ability to adjust to poorly thrown passes.
Broncos select WR Courtland Sutton with the No. 40 pick pic.twitter.com/YviGJQK9Nb
— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) April 27, 2018
Sutton is big-bodied, with long arms and big hands, which makes for a good catch radius. He high points a football “like a basketballer going after a rebound,” meaning he’ll be effective in the red zone.
Next, the Broncos need an unfailing slot receiver. Penn State’s DaeSean Hamilton, taken in the fourth round, addresses this need. Most of his production in college came out of the slot and his route tree was polished.
Hamilton knows what he needs to do. “…my route running is something I take pride in. As long as I carry that same mentality and I’m paying attention to all of the little details and I’m really precise, I think that will be a key component to being successful.”
According to Jensen, by season’s end, he could have racked up the most snaps on offense. He described Hamilton as being pro-ready and a fearless receiver over the middle, with a knack for making big plays.
It all looks promising. Together with Thomas, Sanders and Jake Butt, Denver’s newest wideouts are just the tools the offense needs. Moreover, if Bolles thinks before he acts, the results could be tremendous. Simply put, the offense is looking better than it has in a long time.