Broncos WR Troy Franklin is Making His Draft-Day Plummet Work for His Mindset

Troy Franklin is happy he landed with the Denver Broncos but 16 receivers were drafted before him.
Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver Troy Franklin.
Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver Troy Franklin. / Ben Swanson/Denver Broncos

When a productive player from the college ranks tumbles in the NFL draft, it can often motivate him to higher levels. Troy Franklin is such a player, who went from being projected as a Day 2 pick to hearing his name called in Round 4 by the Denver Broncos.

After catching 86 passes for 1,182 yards and 10 touchdowns last year at Oregon, it's understandable if Franklin has a chip on his shoulder.

"I think I just like to self-talk to myself, to remind myself, to see how all the other 31 teams viewed me or whatever the case is," Franklin told Denver Sports' Andrew Mason. "So I kind of just let that sit in my head—a chip on my shoulder type deal."

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Franklin will wear jersey No.16 this season as he attempts to recreate his chemistry with Bo Nix. It's a unique choice of digits, especially when you consider that exactly 16 receivers were drafted ahead of Franklin last month.

During rookie minicamp, Franklin denied that he chose the No. 16 jersey. He claims the Broncos simply assigned it to him.

Having to wait until Day 3 is an experience that will stick with the 21-year-old. That deeply personal body blow is bound to have been softened, at least somewhat, by following his college quarterback to his new NFL home.  

Broncos head coach Sean Payton has revealed how keen the team was to reunite Franklin with Nix, and it makes sense. A lot still goes into developing a rookie wide receiver, though, even one as accomplished as Franklin. But, to a large extent, Franklin's Year-1 trajectory will be tied to whether Nix is anointed QB1 in training camp.

In fairness, the difficulty of the Broncos' schedule might influence Payton's overall strategy for breaking in his first-round QB. Having to wait until Week 14 for a bye could be brutal on a rookie like Nix if he's the full-time starter.

For Franklin, beyond the question marks surrounding Nix's outlook as Denver's starter is the sting of his draft-day fall. It might keep the rookie wideout grounded but we know for sure that it's already motivating him.

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Keith Cummings


Keith Cummings has covered the Denver Broncos at Mile High Huddle since 2019. His works have been featured on,,, and