How Denver Broncos Receivers Stand in AFC West

Emmanuel Sanders

The Denver Broncos wide receiver corp has grown stronger and stronger over the past few years. However, the AFC West is rife with strong talent in that position, and it will be interesting to see how Denver’s wideouts stack up amongst the rest in the division if the list is narrowed down to just the top five.

Andrew Wade from Predominantly Orange did a remarkable job ranking the top five, considering that injuries, off-field issues, un-used potential and inconsistencies in play had to be taken into account. Quarterback performance also impacts on the production of receivers, and therefore this list differs slightly from Wade’s.

Let’s take a look at how Denver’s wide receivers rank in the AFC West’s top 5.

5. Emmanuel Sanders (Denver Broncos)

2017 was a flat year for Emmanuel Sanders. It wasn’t through any fault of his. Firstly injuries. Secondly, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy favored a scheme that utilized Jordan Taylor. With Case Keenum in the fold, Sanders most likely will have many more touches, and reach production levels like those of 2016 (79 catches, 1,032 yards). Sanders wants to prove he’s worthy of that hefty contract he signed, and if he stays healthy, should be able to.

4. Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos)

At the age of 30, Demaryius Thomas has had an illustrious career. He arrived as a green receiver out of Georgia Tech and has since been steadily inching his way to the Broncos’ all-time board. He’ll make it – but it looks like he won’t climb any higher in terms of performance. 2017 was a cringe-worthy season – he was tied for second in the league with seven dropped catches. And they were easy catches. He worked with a number of mediocre quarterbacks like Kyle Orton and Trevor Siemian, who didn’t bring out the best in him. But before we feel too bad for the guy, analysts like Wade believe he’s a potential Ring of Fame and Hall of Fame honoree

3. Amari Cooper (Oakland Raiders)

Amari Cooper is a ball–dropper. In 2016, he dropped 10 passes. And in 2017, plagued with injuries, he was 9th in the league with five dropped passes. Despite all this, he’s still one of the best in the AFC West, simply because he’s dynamic and makes big plays. In three years of professional play, he posted 203 catches for 3,000 yards and 18 touchdowns.

2. Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs)

A versatile playmaker, Tyreek Hill poses a real threat to opponents when he touches the ball. He’s been named to two Pro-Bowls with his 20 touchdowns and shows no sign of slowing down. In his second year in the pros, he clocked up 75 passes for 1,183 yards. Hill is also deadly fast (40 in 4.3), so he easily leaves opponents in his dust. With a good arm in Patrick Mahomes, Hill’s speed will make them a perfect pair.

1. Keenan Allen (Los Angeles Chargers)

Despite being a veteran, and enduring three injury-filled seasons, the former Rookie of the Year Keenan Allen is still going strong. He completed a full 16-game season last year. His stats were impressive – 102 receptions for 1,393 yards and six touchdowns. He was fourth in the league for receptions and third for yardage total, making him second on the all-time Chargers board. When he’s healthy, Allen is a difficult matchup for most cornerbacks.

If the Broncos’ quarterbacks create a chemistry between themselves and their receivers, Sanders and Thomas may be able to repeat some of their success of years gone by. However, in a division that isn’t short of dynamic receivers, they’ll have to put in extra effort to stay on top of their game.

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