One of the biggest surprises early in the 2010 NFL season has got to be the play of Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd.
Through five weeks of the NFL season, Lloyd leads the league with 589 receiving yards. The eight year veteran is only 144 yards and 18 catches away from equaling his career highs of 48 receptions and 733 yards with the San Francisco 49ers in 2005.
Its no secret that Lloyd has become Kyle Orton's favorite target on this Denver Broncos passing offense, which ranks second in the National Football League. With the Broncos trading away Brandon Marshall this past off-season, most sportswriters, football analyst and fans probably assumed that the Broncos go-to guy would end up being either Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal or first round draft pick Demaryius Thomas.
Lloyd was deactivated for the first 14 games of the 2009 season before seeing limited action in Denver’s final two games. Nobody could imagine this kind of resurgence by Lloyd into one of the premiere wide receivers this season in the NFL. The 29-year-old was battling for a roster spot on the active roster during the preseason with Brandon Stokely and the late Kenny McKinley.
Lloyd’s deep threat ability has opened up the Broncos passing offense for underneath routes, allowing Royal and Gaffney to flourish as well alongside Lloyd. All three Broncos receivers are on pace to have 1,000 yard seasons-- something that is unheard of in Broncos Country, where fans are accustom to having a prolific rushing offense.
"He's probably one of the most explosive guys that I've been around, not just in terms of straight-line speed, but he's one of the better jumpers that I've ever seen," said Orton, "Making plays on the sidelines, contorting his body and making plays and still being able to catch the ball, he's very good at that stuff."
The Broncos inability to run the football has forced head coach Josh McDaniels to have Kyle Orton throw the ball almost every single down like they are a Run-N-Shoot college football team. This aerial assault of the Broncos is likely to slow down as the running backs start to get healthy, but there is no question that Brandon Lloyd will continue to produce and potentially make his first trip to the Pro-Bowl in February.