This team is a very high potential team with league winning type of upside. Read more to see why this mystery team has so much greatness potential.
Did you guess it?
It's the Broncos.
Coming out of college, many viewed Jerry Jeudy as the top WR prospect and envisioned a great career for him. Sadly, last season we only saw glimpses of the player he could be.
After all the hype he amassed at Alabama and throughout the draft process, Jeudy only amassed 856 yards and 3 touchdowns on 52 catches. His lackluster stat line can mostly be attributed to poor QB play and drops. Jeudy endured 13 terrible games of Drew Lock starting, as well as an additional two with a combo of Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel.
I am excluding the Kendall Hinton game for obvious reasons as he was not even a real quarterback for those who don't know. He was a converted WR from the practice squad. These quarterbacks had a combined completion percentage of only 57.8%.
Jeudy was ranked 200th out of 202 players in catch rate, hauling in only 46% of his 113 targets. He was 2nd in the NFL in drops with 14.
Enough of the bad. Now lets focus on the good. His usage was encouraging, just not the efficiency. He lead the team with a 21% targets share and had the 5th most air yards. The rookie only trailed Calvin Ridley, Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, and D.K. Metcalf in air yards.
Jeudy's 12.9 air yards per target was higher than all of the top four receivers besides Ridley.
In terms of ability, he really separated himself from Tim Patrick as the WR1 in the last 3 games of the season. He was consistently creating separation and had 27 targets.
Now, he’s got Courtland Sutton returning from injury and Teddy Bridgewater in charge of getting him the rock. Bridgewater isn’t a flashy guy at all but he’s reliable. He enabled all three of Robby Anderson, DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel to finish as top 25 receivers. He was also reportedly Bridgewater’s most frequent target at OTAs.
However, Sutton will be back. Jeudy’s talent will still have him see about 100 targets but this year he should be way more efficient with them. 2022 could be the year we talk about a massive breakout, with Sutton set to hit free agency after this year.
Javonte Williams is coming off a great season at UNC that saw him amass a whopping 7.3 YPC. He consistently made big plays and he accelerates very quickly. He’s great at shedding tackles, catching out of the backfield and blocking. He only lacks the long distance speed to finish a big run but that won’t stop him from tearing up the league real soon.
It seems the Broncos have been looking for a strong power back for quite some time. Back in 2018 after drafting Royce Freeman Elway had this to say about him: "He's a great addition to the backfield. Bellcow type. First and second down. He's a guy we needed. We needed a thumper."
After 2 years of lackluster performance the team brought in Melvin Gordon to fill that role. While he was certainly solid, he’s 28, has had more than a few injuries and wasn’t good enough to keep the Broncos from drafting his replacement. But how early will Williams start?
Well it could be as soon as week one.
Melvin Gordon missed a game back in October, following a DUI. The charges were dismissed due to evidentiary concerns but that doesn’t mean the league still won’t slap him with a 2-3 game suspension. The NFL still decided to suspend Zeke 6 games in 2017 despite it not being proven.
Even if Gordon isn’t suspended several Broncos insider reporters believe Williams will start week 1. "I think he's the Week 1 starter," O'Halloran suggested. "You do not trade up in the second round for that position without having him earmarked to be your main guy. Melvin Gordon has been a complete no-show during OTAs.
If they thought he was still the starter, I believe he would've made an appearance or two."
Gordon won’t go away completely this year since he’s not a total bum. He’s scored 8+ touchdowns in 5 straight years and is a reliable option out of the backfield. Either way it’s likely Williams is the 1A by December when it matters most. Williams will be all systems go in 2022 once Gordon is gone.