DeAndre Hopkins trade improves Broncos chances to land top receiver in draft

Dec 8, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) runs after a reception during the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s legal tampering period began Monday, and within a few hours, a bombshell trade rattled the sports world.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news that the Houston Texans had traded All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals. Hopkins is one of the premier receivers in the NFL and will be a significant asset for the Cardinals offense.

The acquisition of Hopkins will change the Cardinals’ trajectory in April’s draft and could benefit the Denver Broncos.

The trade provides Arizona with a superstar receiver to pair with 2019 Rookie of The Year Kyler Murray and second-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Arizona had to address the receiver position, and by trading for Hopkins, they are no longer expected the draft a receiver with the 8th overall pick.

The Cardinals will likely shift their priority to offensive tackle, which means Denver will look to draft another position when they hit the clock with the 15th pick.

Denver has a variety of positions that need to be addressed during the offseason, but the franchise is inclined to build their offense through the draft and the defense via free agency.

With that, the Broncos could zero in on a receiver, and with the way free agency is beginning to play out, Denver is in a prime position to land one of the top receivers in the draft such as CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs III, and Jerry Jeudy.

With the Cardinals out of the equation, one team ahead of Denver in the draft with a pressing need at wide receiver is the division rival Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders own the No. 12 and No. 19 picks in the 2020 draft.

Vegas has shown a keen interest in Oklahoma product CeeDee Lamb as their brass attended Oklahoma’s pro day. Vegas “would love” if Lamb fell to them at No. 12, per NBC Sports. Pro Football Focus focus graded Lamb as the sixth-best prospect in the draft.

Ruggs has also been graded as a top receiver in the draft, and his value soared following his 4.27 40-yard dash time. Ruggs caught 40 passes, logging 746 yards and seven touchdowns for the Crimson Tide last season, and has been the most talked-about college receiver throughout the offseason.

Jeudy, a fellow Alamba product, was the top target within the Crimson Tide offense last season, hauling in 1,163 yards and 10 touchdowns.

All three wideouts can stretch the field and would be great within Denver’s young offense.

NFL insider Benjamin Allbright tweeted that there could be more moves involving wide receivers Monday, which could clear a path for the Broncos to land one of the top wideouts come April.

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