Wes Welker's Addition Makes Denver Broncos Super Bowl Favorites

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IMarch 13, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 20:  Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball after a catch against the Baltimore Ravens during the 2013 AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium on January 20, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos already potent offense just received a lethal boost. Slot-master Wes Welker is on his way to Denver. 

This marriage came about quickly on Wednesday, and Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway happily tweeted the news:

So, Wes Welker is going from one Hall of Fame quarterback (Tom Brady) to another (Peyton Manning). It's good to be Welker. It is also good to be the Broncos. 

Denver has just landed one of the most prolific receivers the league has ever seen. In five of his last six seasons, Welker has caught at least 111 passes. 

While Welker's detractors will tell you those numbers are simply a product of the system, that's nonsense. 

In the slot, Welker obviously needs a system where the team heavily uses three-receiver sets. However, there are plenty of those in today's NFL, and Welker will excel in any of them. He is an elite slot receiver, and slot receivers are running the same type of routes in all systems. 

The Broncos weren't shy about using the slot last year, and they will undoubtedly do so even more heavily next season. 

Last year, working out of the slot, Brandon Stokley hauled in 45 catches for five touchdowns with the Broncos. That was the most catches the 35-year-old has had since 2008 and it was the third most of his career. 

Given the boost Stokley received while working with Manning last year, it is reasonable to assume Welker will not have a significant, if any, drop-off in his production. 

So, we are talking about Denver adding approximately 60 catches out of the slot, and this is to a team that finished fifth in passing yards and second in yards per pass.

The Broncos offense is going to be an absolute monster that doesn't look too much different than the mighty 2007 Patriots.

With Demaryius Thomas stretching the field like Randy Moss did and Wes Welker free to do his thing underneath, defenses are going to be spread thin and full of holes as a result.

This Broncos team is stacked, and they clearly have their eye on going all out for a Super Bowl title. 

So, while the Broncos have some needs on defense that need to be addressed, like the defensive tackle position, this team will aggressively attack those needs through the draft and getting creative with cap space.

While I'm sure there are plenty who will point out that it is the 49ers who deserve to be Super Bowl favorites, the Niners don't have the firepower to match the Broncos, and there is not a defense in the league that will be able to slow down the Broncos' multi-faceted attack.