Welcome back to the NFL Draft for Day 2, Broncos fans.
In the first round, everything broke perfectly for Denver as they were able to land the No. 1 receiver in the entire draft, Jerry Jeudy. For the Broncos, glaring needs at wideout as well as on the offensive line left no doubts what they needed to draft and the most important need was met with a could-be star.
On Friday night, the Broncos waited to hear their name called at No. 46, snagging K.J. Hamler, a wide receiver and return man out of Penn State University.
Hamler is a speed demon and smaller receiver, coming in at 5’9″ and 178 pounds. According to scouts, he runs a sub-4.40 40-yard dash, although his official time isn’t listed on NFL.com from the Scouting Combine. Some say he runs a 4.32 40, which is superb if true. His speed is enough to go deep and continue separating as he runs away from cornerbacks, which is exactly what Denver needs on offense.
Outside of Phillip Lindsay, the Broncos were desperate for speed on offense, and now they have Jeudy (4.55 40-yard dash) and Hamler. It also shows what Denver wants to do with their first-round selection, who played both in the slot and outside; Hamler will be the Broncos’ slot man with Jeudy outside, opposite of Courtland Sutton.
Other than being a threat on offense both as a deep threat as well as in gadget plays like jet sweeps, Hamler is also a talented return man both in the punt and kickoff return games. As a sophomore last year, he totaled 24 kick returns for 513 yards, a 21.4 average as well as 23 punt returns for 126 yards, a 5.5 average.
The negatives of Hamler are that he’s a high-risk, high-reward player and only played two seasons at the college level. He could come in a bit raw, but scouts believe he will be a starter within the first two years of his career.
Now, this was a solid pick, but don’t leave the draft coverage yet. The Broncos have three third-round selections at Nos. 77, 83 and 95. After taking a wide receiver in each of the first two rounds, look for John Elway and Co. to focus on the offensive line or cornerback position, or even linebacker. We were looking for the Broncos to take a second receiver on the day, but, that’s already happened!
So, it’s got to be a different position next, right? Stay tuned as we bring you the updates.