BRONCOS

Broncos “offensive playmakers” ranked 30th out of 32 NFL teams

Jul 10, 2024, 10:45 AM

The Denver Broncos will need their offense to take a big step forward in 2024 if the team wants to be successful.

In the first year under head coach Sean Payton, the Broncos averaged just 298.4 yards per game, which was 26th in the NFL. That was ahead of only the Raiders, Titans, Giants, Patriots, Jets and Panthers. It’s not exactly elite company to keep.

However, QB Russell Wilson is gone and Payton seems very excited for the future of rookie first-rounder Bo Nix. Whether or not Nix starts Week 1 remains to be seen, but he should still get plenty of chances this season.

Who around Nix can help him make plays? According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, the “offensive playmakers” on the Broncos aren’t much to be excited about. Barnwell has Denver ranked 30th out of 32 NFL teams in that department. That’s down from 24th in 2023 and 14th in 2022.

It’s important to note Barnwell only includes wide receivers, tight ends and running backs on this list. Quarterbacks are not in the equation, which quite frankly wouldn’t help the Broncos be any higher.

“The days when Denver had a promising young group of playmakers have past,” Barnwell writes. “Jerry Jeudy never had his breakout before being traded to the Browns in March. Tim Patrick hasn’t played in two years. Javonte Williams tore up his knee and averaged 3.6 yards per carry (and) Greg Dulcich caught three passes.”

When you say it like that, there’s a reason the Broncos are only ahead of the Patriots and (a bit surprisingly) the Chargers in Barnwell’s latest rankings.

Still, there are some reasons for hope this season and beyond. Courtland Sutton is back in the fold, Josh Reynolds was added in free agency and Marvin Mims Jr. will hopefully break out in his second year. Plus, Jaleel McLaughlin should get more carries.

“Reynolds was a valuable No. 2 wideout in Detroit as both a pass catcher and run blocker. Mims couldn’t beat out Jeudy for regular work as a rookie, but he should have a larger role. I’m interested in McLaughlin, who averaged 5.4 yards per carry behind Williams without ever getting more than 10 attempts in a game,” Barnwell writes.

Hopefully, Nix can beat out Jarrett Stidham sooner rather than later and elevate the entire offense. But for now, the expectations are low for the Broncos offense in 2024.

To check out Barnwell’s full rankings, including his complete criteria for the list, click here.

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