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Broncos' Top WR Options for Life Without Jeudy & Hamler

How can the Broncos survive the absence of Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler?

The Denver Broncos were once lauded for their depth and diversity at wide receiver but are now without Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, the latter of whom is done for the season with a torn ACL.

The presence of Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick help mitigate the sting of those losses but let's face it: Denver's depth has been stretched incredibly thin. GM George Paton signed David Moore off the Las Vegas Raiders' practice squad and while his 4.4-speed could help this offense, there's a reason he was there for the taking. 

Time will tell whether Moore ultimately makes an impact. In the meantime, where else can the Broncos turn to fill the void left by losing both Jeudy and Hamler?

Earlier this week, head coach Vic Fangio admitted the Broncos will examine all avenues to add wideout depth. Outside the building, there remains a handful of quality options the Broncos could look to acquire. 

Here are a few names to keep an eye on that could fill the void.

Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (Trade)

This is would be an expensive option, both against the salary cap and in terms of trade value. Cooks is incredibly explosive and dynamic with the ball in his hands. A great route runner, Cooks would be the best option to replicate what Hamler does for the Broncos’ offense.

Cooks, 28, has already been traded a handful of times in his career and has fetched first-round picks in return at almost every destination. Being on a bad Houston team that is in a rebuild and looking for extra draft capital, Cooks is an obvious trade candidate. 

The wrench in the works here would be the cost to acquire him, as well as the hefty contract Cooks carries with him. Houston would be on the hook for a massive dead-money hit for this season if it moved on from him, so that could either nix the deal completely or inflate the draft capital necessary to acquire him.

Houston could be looking for a second-round pick as a starting point in trade negotiations, if not even more — due to the salary cap implications of the move.

John Hightower, Philadelphia Eagles (Practice Squad)

A smaller receiver that profiles similarly to Brown, Hightower is a straight-line burner with the ability to take the top off of the defense with ease. The former Boise State product was highly coveted around the league for that ability but has really struggled to catch on in Philadelphia.

The Eagles have made some major investments at the receiver position over the last couple of seasons, and with former first-round picks Jalen Reagor and Devonta Smith being the focal point of the offense, Hightower could become expendable.

Making this an easier move is the fact that Hightower is on the Eagles' practice squad, so Denver wouldn’t have to give up any future assets to sign him to the roster. With Hamler likely heading to IR, Hightower would be an easy replacement in a corresponding roster move.

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Keke Coutee, Indianapolis Colts (Practice Squad)

Another practice squad player, Coutee is a high-upside burner and a dynamic route runner. He was buried on the Texans' roster for the duration of his rookie contract, but he did see some significant playing time when Will Fuller V missed time due to injury.

Coutee has 83 career receptions for 941 yards and four touchdowns, all with the Texans. A former fourth-round selection, he has explosive potential given the opportunity to be on the field. 

However, he has severe issues with ball security. Coutee has five career fumbles and eight career drops in his three-year career, and that inconsistency is a major factor in his inability to fulfill his potential as a player. 

John Brown (Free Agent)

Brown, 30, is a straight-line deep threat notorious for taking the top off of the defense in the vertical passing game. Though he isn’t the best route runner, Brown’s skill-set should be enough to replace at least a little bit of what Hamler brings to the fold.

The former Baltimore and Buffalo standout was granted a release from the Raiders in the preseason and should be available at a discounted price at this point. One thing to note is that Brown has the sickle cell trait, a rare blood disorder that can have negative effects at altitude. He is an intriguing option, but one that could be out of the picture should his medical concerns not pass for the Broncos’ medical staff.

Phillip Dorsett (Free Agent) 

Another shifty route runner, Dorsett has the ability to be a dynamic threat if he could pick up Denver's offense quickly. The problem is, he has never really shown that ability.

A former first-round pick back in 2015, Dorsett has bounced around the league. His career has seen brief stints in Indianapolis, New England, and most recently Jacksonville. Recently released from the Jaguars' practice squad, he could be a cheap option that can fill in as a rotational receiver, especially from the slot. 

Dorsett had a career-high five touchdowns last season in New England, catching passes from Cam Newton.

Follow Lance on Twitter @SandersonMHH.

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