Denver Broncos: Young Wide Receiving Corps Will Be New Face of Franchise

Christopher Smith@MileHighMentorCorrespondent IIIOctober 18, 2011

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 18:  Wide receiver Eric Decker #87 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after scoring a 52-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Aside from free agency acquisition Willis McGahee, the Denver Broncos have almost no veteran leadership on their offense.

Brandon Lloyd was traded to the St. Louis Rams on Monday, and Kyle Orton has been demoted in favor of Tim Tebow.

All of Denver's fans are counting on Tebow to be the spark the Broncos so desperately need to save a dying season and propel the team into a successful winning tradition once again.

However, Tebow will not be the most important factor in Denver's football renaissance.

In Week 7, and going forward, it will be the young and exciting wide receivers that Denver employs who will face the toughest challenge and hopefully give the most return.

The newly appointed starting quarterback Tebow has long been criticized of being an inaccurate thrower. It will be up to the receivers in Denver to help turn this view around.

Eric Decker, a second-year player from Minnesota, has already made his bid for the No. 1 WR spot for the Broncos.

Returning from injury, joining him this week will be fan-favorite Eddie Royal, who was rumored to be on the trading block earlier in the week. Royal has been ineffective over the course of his last two seasons after a breakout rookie year.

On the field for Denver in Week 7 is another receiver returning from injury—one that fans have not seen on the field for more than a year.

Demaryius Thomas, a former first-round pick out of Georgia Tech, is finally back from a season-ending Achilles injury in 2010.

There's a lot of room to make up for with the absence of Brandon Lloyd, who single-handedly made the Broncos offense relevant last year, leading the league with 1,448 receiving yards.

Thomas, Royal and, my favorite, Decker need to fill a huge void and put forth a tremendous effort for the next 11 weeks in order to usher Tebow and the rest of this franchise into a new era.

They might not be viable fantasy football options in the coming weeks, considering Tebow's style of play and head coach John Fox's run-first attitude, but they'll certainly play an important role in the minds of anybody rooting for the Blue and Orange in 2011 and beyond.