How might the Denver Broncos address the loss of Tim Patrick in-house?

NFL: Denver Broncos Rookie Minicamp
May 13, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Bronco wide receiver Seth Williams (90) and wide receiver Brandon Johnson (36) and wide receiver Montrell Washington (12) during mini camp drills at UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos will be without Tim Patrick for the 2022 season after he suffered a torn ACL in Tuesday’s practice.

How might the Broncos address the loss of Patrick within their wide receiver rotation in-house?

Young receivers who will be tasked with stepping up

Losing a player who impacts the offense the way Tim Patrick does is something that can’t be replicated.

While Patrick’s efficiency and production can’t be replaced, the Broncos can look to spread that production out amongst others.

Fifth-round rookie wide receiver Montrell Washington is a player who could see his role increase significantly.

Throughout training camp, Washington has continued to show flashes regardless who throws him the football.

Despite the rookie making plays consistently in training camp, he alone may not be enough to lessen the blow of losing Patrick at the position.

Other receivers like Seth Williams, Tyrie Cleveland, Brandon Johnson, Travis Fulgham, and Kendall Hinton also face the task of doing more, quickly for the offense.

The Broncos’ offensive DNA demands them to be more than just an outside receiver or a slot receiver, but the ability to do both.

Size-wise, Williams comes in at 6’3 just one inch shorter than Patrick. Williams’ sample size is small in comparison, but the Broncos could look to him to fill the void left by Patrick’s injury.

Fulgham, Cleveland, and Johnson all come in around 6’2 while Hinton arrives at 6’0.

For the next few weeks, the Broncos will evaluate these receivers in preseason action as the team prepares to face the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, and Minnesota Vikings.

Could Greg Dulcich be the Denver Broncos security blanket?

As Broncos rookie tight end Greg Dulcich continues to work his way back from a hamstring injury, he might be the solution the team needs.

The Broncos didn’t draft Dulcich to be an in-line blocking tight end, but more as a flex slot player who can stretch the field for them.

Dulcich’s 6’4 size and speed could also benefit the Broncos’ offense in areas Patrick helped the Broncos, on third down.

39 of Patrick’s 53 receptions in 2021 moved the chains for a first down.

If the Broncos’ third-round rookie draft pick can carve himself a role as a chain mover, the offense will benefit significantly.

With Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy likely to receive premier attention from opposing defenses, this is an area where Dulcich could have an immediate impact.

How many receivers might the Broncos carry on their active roster?

Heading into 2022, players like Sutton, Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Montrell Washington are evident roster locks at receiver.

After Patrick’s injury, Denver could be forced to carry three more on the roster.

Behind the four, Hinton, Fulgham, Johnson, Cleveland, Williams, Trey Quinn, and Kaden Davis will all compete to potentially fill out three final spots on the roster.

Considering the loss of Patrick, carrying seven receivers on the roster may be the best solution for the Broncos heading into the regular season.

The Broncos will be back on the practice field on Thursday with full pads as Training Camp practice continues.

 

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