Denver Broncos: Ranking the Receivers After Thomas and Decker
With the first preseason game of the 2012 season in the books, the competition at the wide receiver position within the Denver Broncos team is very fierce.
Everyone can agree that Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker will be the top two targets for Peyton Manning this coming season, but after that, it could be anyone.
Aside from those two men, there are nine other wide receivers currently on the roster. Here is a closer look at each of them and their odds of making the final 53-player squad.
The Broncos brought in Kenney, the former Oklahoma Sooner, off waivers from Seattle after a few injuries to guys like Decker and D'Andre Goodwin in camp.
Kenney was an undrafted free agent who was given a look by the Chargers last season before catching on with the Seahawks. He is a fast guy with some playmaking ability, but he was likely just brought in to give the Broncos some more depth in order to get through practices.
Unless he does something huge in the next three preseason games, Kenney won't make the team.
6'3" Greg Orton has been a member of the Broncos before. He spent training camp and preseason with them last year but was cut before going to the arena league. The Broncos brought him back in November and assigned him to their practice squad.
Orton is another guy who will have to come up with some very big plays in preseason to catch the eye of the team, and with the guys in front of him, it's going to be very difficult to avoid being cut.
Grisham has been a bright spot in camp, but he has also been hobbled by a knee injury and didn't play in the preseason opener against Chicago.
Grisham has been a career practice squad guy, and that is his best-case scenario in Denver.
Mark Dell had a solid playing career in the college ranks at Michigan State, including becoming one of only four players in school history to ever have 200 yards receiving in a game.
He did see action against the Bears, but didn't catch a pass. His only touch came on an end-around where he dropped the ball. Luckily, he was able to pick it up and turn it into a positive gain.
When training camp opened, it seemed Dell might have an outside shot at making the roster, but that doesn't seem likely now due to the play of the more experienced players on the roster.
Perhaps no receiver on the Broncos roster has more upside than former Arizona State Sun Devil Gerell Robinson.
He came to the Broncos as an undrafted free agent and is a former teammate of Brock Osweiler.
Against the Bears, he was targeted four times, catching two passes for 22 yards, one going for 17 yards, in limited action.
The Broncos would be well-served to relegate this player to the practice squad, as he is definitely worth the time it will take to mold him into an elite NFL wideout.
Brandon Stokley has had a very admirable NFL career, but his best days are certainly behind him.
He only saw one pass against the Bears on Thursday night, and he let it fall to the ground. He does have some value as a slot receiver, but is that worth a spot on the roster? One that could go to a guy like Gerell Robinson?
The main thing Stokley has going for him is his familiarity with Manning and the fact that he could serve as somewhat of a player/coach while on the sidelines.
Many fans likely want to see Stokley make the team for sentimental reasons, but that won't be in the team's best interest.
Jason Hill looked solid on Thursday night, catching three passes for 35 yards and a touchdown, and he is slowly sliding up the depth chart. Making a decision on whether to cut him or not more difficult.
Hill will be one of those last-minute bubble players who might just end up stealing a roster spot.
Matt Willis has to know the pressure is on to make this team, and he looked good against the Bears with three catches.
What separates Willis from a guy like Jason Hill is his ability as a return specialist, a position the Broncos have yet to solidify.
Willis was likely a bubble player before training camp, but he'll make this team.
Andre Caldwell seems to be the clear-cut No. 3 receiver for the Broncos at this point.
One of the more under-the-radar free-agent signings off the offseason, Caldwell came over from the Cincinnati Bengals, where he averaged 31 receptions per season in four years.
As the Broncos slot receiver, Caldwell will be in line for a career year and will easily double that number.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!