Broncos WR Depth Chart: Forecasting the Players

The Denver Broncos have a log-jam of depth at wide receiver. But who makes it?
May 23, 2024; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Troy Franklin (16) during organized team activities at Centura Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2024; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Troy Franklin (16) during organized team activities at Centura Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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The Denver Broncos have deliberately tried to rejuvenate their wide receiver room this year. The Broncos bid farewell to Jerry Jeudy, welcomed Josh Reynolds through free agency, and drafted Troy Franklin.

The team is pinning its hopes on Tim Patrick's recovery and Marvin Mims Jr.'s progress. While the room is brimming with uncertainties, the potential of these new players brings hope for the 2024 season. 

Amid the uncertainties at the top of the position, the Broncos' strategy for the depth of the position is also under scrutiny. Franklin leads the room's depth, and the rookie's connection with the expected starter, Bo Nix, has sparked a lot of excitement.

However, the Broncos' cautious approach to Franklin’s game, which saw him fall to the fourth round of the 2024 NFL draft, suggests a more limited role for him this year. This strategy keeps the audience engaged in the team's decision-making process. 

There are issues with Franklin’s speed variance and route running to be fully utilized in the offense. On top of that, there are concerns about his blocking, which could lead to a limited snap count and predictability on the offense.

The odds of Franklin having the production that Puka Nacua did is extremely unlikely, but he could be in line for 400-650 receiving yards as a rookie. That would be a great start for his career, as the Broncos can develop him into an even more significant piece of the offense. Franklin sits at the top of Denver's receiver depth.  

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After Franklin, there is a smorgasbord of players with different skill sets. David Sills, Michael Bandy, and Jalen Virgil are at the bottom of the room. The three have a combined 45 targets in the regular season with 287 yards on 25 catches.

Virgil was poised to be a dynamic deep threat for the 2023 season, but a season-ending injury in training camp ended his season before it started. Bandy is a limited slot receiver who can offer up some returner ability, but the Broncos already have plenty of options. Finally, there's Sills, a bigger receiver who can work on special teams, of which the Broncos have an abundance. 

Each of those three receivers already has his role filled by others on the roster and by players who are practically guaranteed to make the roster. That puts them at the low end of the depth chart. It will be a fight for them to make the practice squad, with the roster likely out of reach, barring injuries or an unexpected shock. 

The next four receivers are the main four to push for the final spot of two on the roster behind Patrick, Mims, Reynolds, Franklin, and Courtland Sutton if he isn’t traded. Lil’Jordan Humphrey likely has a leg up on the rest based on how well he did to close out last season. Humphrey has experience in Sean  Payton’s scheme and showed he can be a reliable receiver and blocker during the 2023 season. 

Brandon Johnson is another young veteran who has an excellent shot to make it. As an undrafted free agent after the 2022 season, he has stepped up when called upon in his first two seasons.

The issue with Johnson has been his ability to stay on the field, missing time in both seasons due to injury. He also has reliability as a blocker, but his availability concern could be a deciding factor. 

Phillip Dorsett spent last season with the Broncos mainly as a practice squad player. He got called up in two games and targeted three times with no catches.

Dorsett's experience could keep him around, but he has never shown enough to stick with a team for a long time. One of the other receivers could make it to the roster or practice squad and take over from Dorsett. 

The final receiver is Franklin’s fellow rookie, Devaughn Vele. Vele has years of experience in college football and is on the older side for a receiver.

Vele can help on special teams and offense in various ways. That versatility could be enough to lane him a spot on the roster, which would be a massive bonus for his age and maturity. 

Bottom Line

It's good to have so many options for receivers entering training camps, and the hope is that they make the cut-down decisions difficult. That said, the Broncos only have two spots, maybe three, at most, with multiple receivers guaranteed a roster spot.

Some options are more enticing than others on paper, but the decisions will come down to how these depth receivers do in training camp and preseason action. 

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Erick Trickel


Erick Trickel is the Senior Draft Analyst for Mile High Huddle, has covered the Denver Broncos, NFL, and NFL Draft for the site since 2014.