Approaching training camp, the Denver Broncos have a lot of excitement gearing towards their offense with Russell Wilson under center. There isn’t a position group out there more excited than the Broncos wide receiving corps.
How many receivers might the Broncos carry on their active roster in 2022 and who are some of the wildcards to keep an eye on?
Denver Broncos wide receiver room
During training camp, one position group usually features the most players in comparison to other positions and that’s wide receiver. Entering this season, the Broncos will enter camp with 13 total players at the position.
In 2021, the Broncos carried a total of 6 receivers on the active roster. This season, they could potentially follow suit.
Broncos players returning to camp in 2022 feature Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Tyrie Cleveland, Seth Williams, and Kendall Hinton. New additions at the position feature veterans like Travis Fulgham, Trey Quinn, undrafted rookie free agents Jalen Virgil, Brandon Johnson, Kaden Davis, and fifth-round rookie draft pick Montrell Washington.
Who will be the Broncos’ 5th WR?
While the expectation is that Sutton, Patrick, Jeudy, and Hamler will be the top four receivers on the roster, Denver has some serious depth who can compete for the WR5 spot.
The Broncos’ WR5 last season was former undrafted fan-favorite Kendall Hinton. Hinton’s name has been brought up various times this offseason by Russell Wilson when he’s gotten the chance to speak with the media.
“Kendall is doing an amazing job,” Wilson said during Broncos’ mandatory minicamp. “He has a special gift—his gift of getting open, his wiggle and his ability to accelerate and make plays. I remember watching the film, and there was a certain game—it was the Cowboys game. He caught a skinny post route and just took off. His ability to get open, his ability to make plays near the red zone and how he catches it—he’s got that football instinct.”
Could Travis Fulgham make some noise?
With Russ having high praise for Hinton, could he be a potential lock at receiver this offseason? Competing with him for one of the final roster spots at the receiver position could be veteran playmaker Travis Fulgham.
Fulgham has been a standout player throughout OTAs during the offseason and is looking to find his footing on an active roster. After bursting onto the scene in 2020 as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Fulgham hopes to showcase that he is continuing to evolve.
“We’ve got a great room,” Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett said during the offseason. “That whole room of wide receivers, they’re great guys, they all push each other, and they all work hard. Travis has done some good things in the league and just needs to be consistent and needs to keep on going and get better every day. I think that whole room pushes themselves, so I think that it’ll be great to have him in there.”
Will the Broncos carry a 6th WR who has return potential?
If the Broncos follow the trend from last season, their 6th receiving option will likely be a player they view as their starter at returner on special teams. Last season Diontae Spencer secured that spot.
In 2022, the spot is wide open as the Broncos will look to find a new starter at their returner position following the team’s decision to not re-sign Spencer during the offseason. At receiver, the Broncos could rely on their 2022 fifth-round draft selection Montrell Washington.
Washington will compete with undrafted rookie free agents Jalen Virgil, Kaden Davis, Brandon Johnson, and third-year player Tyrie Cleveland. Where Cleveland benefits is that he has prior regular-season experience with the Broncos as a returner.
However in training camp, if Washington resembles any ounce of what he displayed at Samford University, the job could be his to lose. While at Samford, he produced 742 yards on kick returns, 243 yards on punt returns, 18 total touchdowns, and 1,938 total all-purpose yards.
Do the Broncos have another undrafted gem on the roster?
Chomping at the bit to become one of the Broncos’ next undrafted rookie gems, Appalachian State skill player Jalen Virgil will also get his chance during training camp.
During his five-year stint at Appalachian State, Virgil demonstrated his explosiveness as a kick returner.
In 2019, he averaged 36.5 yards per return on 4 attempts. In 2020, he averaged 30.7 yards on seven attempts, and in 2021 averaged 28.9 yards per return on 27 attempts.
If Virgil stands out in preseason, he could find himself as the Broncos’ next return option.
Even after the Denver Broncos solidify their active roster, the team will likely keep several receivers on their 16-man practice squad this upcoming season