PFF Slams Broncos WR Corps With Pathetic NFL Ranking

Expectations are low for the Denver Broncos' pass catchers next season.
Dec 16, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) runs with the ball against the Detroit Lions in the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 16, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) runs with the ball against the Detroit Lions in the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
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The talent of the Denver Broncos wide receiver corps has been scrutinized this offseason. However, with a revolving door at quarterback since 2016, it’s been challenging to accurately assess the receivers' performance.

Standouts like Emmanuel Sanders and the late great Demaryius Thomas showed up regardless of who was under center, but this isn’t 2018-2019 anymore. The current receiving core is full of potential, but Pro Football Focus’ rankings place them in a less favorable light.

Denver is ranked third-worst in the entire NFL, just above division rival Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots. This ranking is a significant indicator of the team's current standing. So, what could be the reason for such an underwhelming ranking?

Here’s what PFF had to say about the Broncos' wideouts:

“Jerry Jeudy is no longer a Bronco, so it's Courtland Sutton‘s room to command. The team brought in Josh Reynolds and drafted Troy Franklin to find their WR2, and Marvin Mims can be a deep-threat option. Denver got good receiving production from their running backs last season, as both Samaje Perine and Jaleel McLaughlin earned receiving grades above 80.0 in 2023.”

Trevor Sikkema, PFF

There’s not much to glean from their snippet on Denver, but what does stick out is that the running backs got more shine than their actual receivers.

Reading about how well your running backs graded out in the passing game while your receiving corps is only mentioned as depth chart speculation is telling about how Denver’s pass catchers are perceived outside of Dove Valley.

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The disappointing ranking isn’t without substance, and PFF hasn’t listed precisely why there's a simple explanation: Denver’s wideouts outside Courtland Sutton and Josh Reynolds are leaning on potential, not substance. 

This isn’t to say that Marvin Mims can’t step up or Troy Franklin isn’t capable of making a significant impact in his rookie season, but we haven’t seen him on the field yet.

Mims made some splash plays in 2023, but his touches were limited, and he only caught 22 balls on 33 targets and fumbled twice, which put him in Sean Payton’s doghouse for a good portion of the season.

His return ability is his greatest asset thus far, but he needs to diversify his route tree to secure more touches on offense. Jerry Jeudy’s departure paved the way for Mims to make waves in 2024, and it’s on him to prove he’s worth his draft pedigree. 

As for Troy Franklin, he may struggle to find playing time with Mims, Sutton, and Reynolds ahead of him on the depth chart. He's talented, and his connection with rookie quarterback Bo Nix is worth noting; however, the men ahead of him will get the majority of touches.

Franklin has potential but may have to wait another year before significant opportunities come his way.


Bottom Line

The Broncos have a talented receiving core full of potential. PFF’s ranking reflects how Denver’s more about potential than substance to this point. Until their pass-catcher's cleats hit the field this coming season, no one should rank them in the league's top half. It will be on the Broncos receivers to ball out and rise the ranks for PFF or any other outlet.

The potential is fun and exciting to discuss, but it’s all just that: talk—time to show up and show out.


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Dylan Von Arx

DYLAN VON ARX

Dylan Von Arx has been a Contributor to Mile High Huddle since 2022— SI.com's team website covering the Denver Broncos. Dylan also co-hosts the Orange & Blue View podcast on Saturday nights.