Mike! There's a rumor that ERIC DECKER is coming back!!?? Oh Pleeeeaaaasssseeeeee tell me it's true!!! OR … since you're so analytical ... can you give me a percentage of possibility!? I'm dying to know! DENVER is dying to know ... seriously.
-Tanya Baker Cameron, Golden
Tanya—No doubt, you and Bronco fans everywhere love Eric Decker for his red-zone proficiency. Sorry, Tanya, but I would say it’s unlikely Decker will return after three years with the New York Jets.
The primary reason is the Broncos are currently overcrowded at the receiver position. Demaryius Thomas remains No. 1, but remember, the Broncos brought in Emmanuel Sanders to replace Decker as the no. 2 receiver prior to the 2014 season.
The No. 3 receiver is a competition between third-round rookie Carlos Henderson, and returnees Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler III and Jordan Taylor. It also appears the Broncos are going to mix in fifth-round rookie Isaiah McKenzie in the slot.
That’s seven right there and even though the Broncos oddly kept seven receivers on their roster late last season, five is the norm – six tops.
The Broncos also have Kalif Raymond and Marlon Brown, who are no slouches.
I’d put Decker’s chances of playing here at 10 percent (never, say never in the NFL). He did play three seasons with Mike McCoy as his offensive coordinator from 2010-13 so the possibility can’t be completely dismissed.
Decker left here following the 2013 season as one of the best No. 2 receivers in the NFL. I’d put Sanders ahead of him now. Decker was beat up in his three seasons with the Jets, but he played hurt for two seasons and had impressive production despite spotty quarterback play.
But he missed most of last season with a shoulder injury and underwent significant surgeries to his hip and shoulder. His health at 30 years old is a concern.
If he is healthy, he’s still a good receiver. He’ll sign somewhere. Just don’t see him landing back in Denver.
Mike – I’m going to say it again Mike. Carlos Henderson is the best pick in this draft and will make the second coming of the Three Amigos.
Aaron—If I remember correctly, you called Andy Janovich’s touchdown run in the opener against Carolina last year. So I’ll take your word for it.
Henderson has received considerable buzz as a rookie who will make a significant contribution for the Broncos this year. I’m always cautious, though, in applying expectations on rookie receivers.
Cody Latimer, a second-round pick in 2014, had two catches for 23 yards as a rookie. Decker, a third-round pick in 2010, had nine receptions as a rookie. Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos’ first-round selection in 2010, had just 22 catches as a rookie.
Then again Eddie Royal, the Broncos’ second-round selection in 2008, had his career-best season as a rookie with 91 receptions.
The adjustment to getting off the line against press coverage, and reading the defense before running the correct route are big adjustments for NFL rookie receivers. I have no prediction for Henderson this year. We’ll go with yours, Aaron.
Mike, you are an awesome reporter and I appreciate your coverage. That being said, here is an FYI. The Denver Broncos are neither playing right now, are not making a run for the Super Bowl right now, are really only practicing. It’s summer and our beloved Colorado Rockies are doing something they haven’t done in a very long time.
So skip covering the Broncos right now, let the Broncos be 3rd page news if even news right now. Let’s give these Rockies the coverage they deserve and make them the Front Page News for now! They now have (41) wins, most in the NL and probably the most they have ever had this far into the season. The Broncos will always be there, for that matter the NFL will probably always be there despite the concussions. Rockies are on fire right now, put them in the front cover!
Thank you Mike,
No, Jay, thank you. At 9News, the Rockies’ game of the day often leads our sportscasts. The Broncos notebooks and Klis-n-Tell segments follow.
But fairly or unfairly, right or wrong, the Broncos and the NFL are part of a galaxy. All the other sports are planets. Are the Rockies more newsworthy as they approach the midway point to their promising regular season than the Broncos are during OTAs and minicamp in June?
The Rockies are a huge story within their planet of baseball. The Broncos practice within their enormous galaxy. You make a strong case, Jay. But this is the Broncos’ world and we’re just living in it.
Hi Mike. Only you may know this. If O.J. Howard had gotten past Tampa Bay, would the Broncos have taken him? Of all the players in the draft, I feel like he may have the best chance of being a Hall of a Fame player. Thanks.
-Jay Edwards, Littleton
Jay—The short answer is no. The Broncos would have still taken Garett Bolles at No. 20 even if Howard had not been taken by Tampa Bay at No. 19.
Bolles addressed the Broncos’ most critical need at left tackle.
A more in-depth answer is Howard, the Alabama tight end, had strong support among the Broncos’ coaches and personnel staff. There was discussion about taking him.
There should have been. When you’re picking No. 20 as the Broncos were, there should be one guy who wants Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster and another who liked Howard, another who wanted Ryan Ramczyk and someone else who wanted Zay Jones or Dalvin Cook.
There’s barely a unanimous choice with the No. 1 selection. There must be healthy debate about who to take at No. 20. But John Elway is the Broncos’ general manager with final say authority and while he would have loved to have taken Howard or Foster or others, Bolles was his guy. He had to get a left tackle.