With the 161st selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos added wide receiver Tavarres King from Georgia. Some Broncos fans may be shocked by the selection of a wide receiver because Denver has one of the best starting trios in the league. Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Eric Decker will dominate opponents in 2013 with Peyton Manning leading the way.
Denver was wise to add a wide receiver in this draft for a few reasons. First, this draft class is strong at the position and there are value picks like King available in the late rounds. Second, 2012 was the first season that both Thomas and Decker were able to play a full 16-game schedule. Third, with Decker set to hit free agency after 2013, the team needed to be prepared in case they lose him on the open market.
King is a productive player who improved his skill set and statistics every year he was at Georgia. The Broncos may see him continue to develop now that he's in the pros.
Quickness and speed are hallmarks or King's game. He can get to top speed in a hurry and with great pad speed is a threat when the football is in his hands. King is also elusive after the catch because of his quickness in the open field.
He can quickly get in and out of his breaks and does not tip off his routes to defensive backs trying to cover him. King has good footwork, balance and body control when running routes near the sidelines. He can make difficult catches seem routine and seems to have heightened focus when passes are more difficult to haul in.
King is not the biggest wide receiver and may lack the frame to add more muscle. Even though he's not a brute King is scrappy and has the ability to beat press coverage. His tough mentality is further accentuated by the fact he's a fearless route runner when in the middle of the field.
He has position versatility and can play outside at "X" receiver or inside at the slot position. This allows him to move around the formation and exploit mismatches.
King does lose his focus sometimes if he's not getting passes thrown his way. He'll have to learn patience at the pro level and know that at any time, on any route, he needs to be ready.
I have traveled to the Senior Bowl for the last seven years running and watched King from the sidelines earlier this year in Mobile, Alabama. I was impressed with his ability to get open consistently and find the football in the air. King was a standout player every day in practice because of his "my ball" mentality, route running, and quickness.
The Broncos now have insurance against injury to one of their "big 3" wide receivers. They also have insurance in case they lose Decker in free agency after 2013. King was a good pick and a value at where the Broncos took him off the board.