General manager John Elway had pulled off an amazing move as he signed the free agent and ex-New England Patriot to a two-year, $12 million deal. Not only will this addition severely hurt the Broncos AFC rivals up North, but it will establish the Denver receiving corps as the best in the entire league.
Peyton Manning is a brilliant quarterback that makes other players look better as he proved last season. The All-Pro signal caller passed for 4,659 yards in 2012 with a league leading 68.6 completion percentage for all eligible quarterbacks.
That stat manifested itself on the field as Demaryius Thomas reeled in 1,434 receiving yards, good for fourth in the entire NFL. His counterpart Eric Decker was not for behind with 1,064 receiving yards, which was 17th in the league. Thus, the Broncos were only one of two teams to have two receivers ranked in the top 18 for that stat. The other? The blitzing Atlanta Falcons who boasted both Julio Jones and Roddy White.
All told, Denver picked up 4,671 receiving yards last season. That number was sixth in the NFL, right behind those Falcons.
Even with the awesome numbers that Manning and his receivers put up, it was obvious that they were not always in sync. With another year to prepare and practice with his new bunch of pass catchers, you can expect to see those receiving numbers skyrocket.
That is without even mentioning the addition of Wes Welker. Manning will get a whole offseason to throw balls to the Pro Bowl slot receiver, and the terrific trio of Thomas, Decker and Welker should be a headache for opposing defenses in 2013.
After all, the Broncos are the only team with three players that netted 1,000 receiving yards in 2012 as the former Patriot grabbed 118 balls for 1,354 yards last season.
Welker has risen up as one of the best in his position during his tenure in New England and should continue that dominance in the Mile High City.
In short, the 5' 9” Texas Tech product is a pass catching machine. On December 17, 2012 he became the first player in NFL history with five seasons of 100+ catches. Additionally, Welker has led the league in catches for three of those five seasons. He topped the NFL in 2011, 2009 and 2007 with 122, 123 and 112 catches respectively.
That 123 catch season in 2009 was good for the second most single season receptions in the history of the league. Welker was behind only Marvin Harrison, who caught 143 balls in 2002 when he had Manning throwing to him in Indianapolis.
Who does Welker have throwing to him this year? Manning.
The styles of Thomas, Decker and Welker work very nicely together. But even if they didn’t, the quarterback in Denver would make it work. Peyton Manning has always got 100 percent production out of all his receivers and this upcoming season will be no different.
Welker is a five-time Pro Bowler and a bona fide superstar in the NFL. Any team would be lucky to have him. However, when that team already has an Pro Bowl receiver and another one that will be attending Hawaii very soon, it isn’t luck. It is pure dominance.
AFC defensive coordinators already had long nights in the office trying to prepare for Thomas and Decker. Throw Welker in the mix and those poor coaches should just go to bed because there is no way they will be able to stop the best receiving corps in the NFL.