Denver Broncos 2020 Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup

baby denver broncos

The 2020 NFL Draft is in the books, and that means it’s time for us to fully turn our attention to the 2020 NFL season and fantasy football. While COVID-19 means we can’t guarantee an NFL season, our league mates want us to be on our heels, unprepared for the season. Never you fear, Football Absurdity is here to cover all of the 78 fantasy football eligible players drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft. Keep in mind, most of these guys won’t get selected in your draft, but you’ll want to know these 2020 NFL draftees when your fantasy football draft comes around. We finished our look around the NFC with the Buccaneers, so let’s start off with the Denver Broncos and the AFC West.

Weapons. That’s the theme of the Denver Broncos’ 2020 NFL Draft. Weapons for Drew Lock. They took four pass-catchers in the draft to go alongside Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, and Melvin Gordon. Will any of these Denver Broncos rookies do enough to end up with fantasy football relevance in 2020?

FULL DENVER BRONCOS DRAFT RESULTS
Rd Pick Player Pos School
1 15 Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
2 14 K.J. Hamler WR Penn St
3 13 Michael Ojemudia CB Iowa
3 19 Lloyd Cushenberry C LSU
3 31 McTelvin Agim DT Arkansas
4 12 Albert Okwuegnunam TE Missouri
5 32 Justin Strnad OLB Wake Forest
6 2 Netane Muti OG Fresno St
7 38 Tyrie Cleveland WR Florida
7 40 Derrek Tuszka OLB North Dakota St

 

Round 1, Pick 15: Jerry Jeudy, Wide Receiver, Alabama (6’1” 193 lbs)
40-yd Dash Bench Press Vertical Jump Broad Jump 3 Cone 20-yd shuttle 60-yd shuttle
4.45s (u) 35.0 in 120.0 in 4.53s

Courtesy: NFL.com, (u) = unofficial.

Depth Chart:
WR1       Courtland Sutton
WR2       Jerry Jeudy
WR3       K.J. Hamler
WR4       DaeSean Hamilton
WR5       Tim Patrick
WR6       Diontae Spencer
WR7(?) Tyrie Cleveland
TALENT

Unless you were desperately looking for attention, Jerry Jeudy ended up somewhere in your pre-draft top-three at wide receiver. Even if you desperately needed someone to argue with your take, you couldn’t put him outside your top-five without getting laughed out of the discussion. Jeudy is a slam dunk prospect due to his skills running routes; calling Jeudy a “technician” barely scratches the surface. When watching Jeudy’s college tape, just speed it up to 1.5x and put on Yakety Sax, because you are going to see some Benny Hill-level pratfalls from the defensive backs.

It was extremely hard to parse who should have been the #1 wide receiver in this class between Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb, but ultimately, Jeudy ranked #2 to Lamb due to Lamb’s game-breaking ability. That doesn’t make Jeudy a slouch. He has great hands to pluck balls out of the air and is a great blocker. The number one note about Jeudy is that he just makes DBs look silly. He is closer to a wigglier Amari Cooper than anything else, but will likely be more consistent than Cooper. Jeudy is a force of nature.

2020 OPPORTUNITY

Things looked really great for Jeudy after the first night of the NFL Draft. The Broncos added him to a strong, but not deep receiving corps. Then they went out and got K.J. Hamler and Albert Okwuegnunam and diluted the whole thing. Luckily for Jeudy, neither Hamler nor Albert O will challenge him for targets. Hamler is a deep speed threat, and Albert O will pester Noah Fant with missed targets than anything else. Still, they have five viable receiving threats (six if you count Melvin Gordon), and Courtland Sutton will command 125+ targets, leaving Jeudy in a bit of a target bind.

2020 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK

Jeudy might start off slow, I fully concede that. At this point, the Broncos have changed their roster so much that I can’t tell you where the targets and touches will go. Still, I’m a believer that cream rises to the top. Jeudy and Sutton should consolidate the biggest chunk of the targets and are a good shot to both hit over 20% market share under Drew Lock. Lock might also be throwing enough for his arm to fall off, given that John Elway seems to want to run teams out of the stadium.

Jeudy is WR44 off the board, just ahead of Justin Jefferson. Personally, I would go Jefferson there, given the depth chart question marks in Denver, but I can’t fault you for taking the better player in Jeudy.

TALENT:
OPPORTUNITY: (?)
2020 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK:
Round 2, Pick 14: K.J. Hamler, Wide Receiver, Penn State (5’9” 178 lbs)
40-yd Dash Bench Press Vertical Jump Broad Jump 3 Cone 20-yd shuttle 60-yd shuttle
15 reps

Courtesy: NFL.com, (u) = unofficial.

Hamler had a hamstring injury and was unable to participate in most of the Combine drills.

Depth Chart:
WR1       Courtland Sutton
WR2       Jerry Jeudy
WR3       K.J. Hamler
WR4       DaeSean Hamilton
WR5       Tim Patrick
WR6       Diontae Spencer
WR7(?) Tyrie Cleveland
TALENT

I have never seen a bigger game plan/skillset mismatch than Kamler and Penn State. He was a tiny speedster in a run-first offense. It’s hard to say anything about Hamler because it’s mostly watching a 5’9” 178-pound guy run blocking. That went about as well as you would expect, by the way. Still, on passing plays, Hamler consistently runs past everyone and had amazing open-field speed, but he was hardly targeted in college. Limited size (5’9”) and strength; a generic hard tackle ended with him popping out the football. With all the weaponry underneath, he’ll likely mostly take the top off the defense for Denver.

2020 OPPORTUNITY

The Denver Broncos redefined stacked weaponry, adding four viable weapons for Drew Lock to play with. Unfortunately, this limits Hamler to three-WR sets, sets that might be incredibly rare with Melvin Gordon/Phillip Lindsay and Noah Fant/Albert O filling up the field with big bodies. If everything goes according to plan in Denver, Hamler tops out at 50-60 targets over the course of the season. With injuries, his role could grow, but I’m not investing in a handcuff wide receiver at the draft, and neither should you.

2020 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK

It’s hard for me to see K.J. Hamler having any consistent value in redraft leagues. Sure, he will flash here-and-there, and make for an enticing DFS option, but consistency would be a problem. He could turn around and end the season around WR30, but that likely comes on the back of a bunch of 3/28 games and a few 3/128 games thrown in there. It’s hard to trust putting Hamler into your fantasy football lineups, there are just too many mouths to feed in Denver.

TALENT:
OPPORTUNITY:
2020 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK:
Round 4, Pick 12: Albert Okwuegbunam, Tight End, Missouri (6’5” 258 lbs)
40-yd Dash Bench Press Vertical Jump Broad Jump 3 Cone 20-yd shuttle 60-yd shuttle
4.49s (u)

Courtesy: NFL.com, (u) = unofficial.

Depth Chart:
TE1         Noah Fant
TE2         Albert Okwuegbunam
TE3         Nick Vannett
TE4         Jeff Heuerman
TE5         Jake Butt (remember Jake Butt?)
TALENT

Okwuegbunam (from here known as Albert O) is a huge dude who pops off the screen athletically, which his one Combine test taken supports (fastest TE in the 40-yard dash). He has completely fluid running ability but completely unrefined routes. Albert O wins jump balls well and is best suited in a role where he doesn’t block too much. He has great body control on catches and is able to use his whole body to get the football, but his hands are questionable. Albert O will be a red zone monster for a long time in this league. Ultimately, he needs some coaching to clean up his route running but ticks a ton of athletic boxes.

2020 OPPORTUNITY

If I had to pick a rookie tight end to get eight touchdowns, I would choose Albert O. Unfortunately, there won’t be a lot of extra targets to go around for him in this crowded Denver offense, especially since he plays behind one of the next batches of good, young tight ends in the league in Noah Fant. Fant will likely dominate the TE touches as Albert O gets used to the NFL level. As such, I don’t picture a lot of opportunities for him outside of the red zone. Playing with his college QB (Drew Lock) again should help ease this transition, but not enough for me to get excited about him.

2020 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK

All rookie tight ends deal with a tough transition to the NFL. Even tight ends with good target situations have to contend with that transition that suppresses their fantasy football potential. Unfortunately for Albert O, he has to contend with that transition and a very crowded set of weaponry for the Broncos.

TALENT:
OPPORTUNITY:
2020 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK:
Round 7, Pick 38: Tyrie Cleveland, Wide Receiver, Florida (6’2” 209 lbs)
40-yd Dash Bench Press Vertical Jump Broad Jump 3 Cone 20-yd shuttle 60-yd shuttle
4.46s (u) 13 reps 39.5 in 126.0 in

Courtesy: NFL.com, (u) = unofficial.

Depth Chart:
WR1       Courtland Sutton
WR2       Jerry Jeudy
WR3       K.J. Hamler
WR4       DaeSean Hamilton
WR5       Tim Patrick
WR6       Diontae Spencer
WR7(?) Tyrie Cleveland
TALENT

Cleveland is just a guy, and it’s apt that the Broncos took him almost immediately before Mr. Irrelevant. He’s not exceptionally athletic, he doesn’t run routes particularly well, and he doesn’t use his size very well. The QB situation in Florida was dire, so he had to do a lot of stopping and jumping for passes he shouldn’t have, which limited his YAC. Still, nothing jumps off the tape. He’s an okay blocker on the outside but takes bad angles and whiffs on guys at the second level.

2020 OPPORTUNITY

There are at least six wide receivers ahead of him on the depth chart, and all of them deserve to be there. Cleveland is a roster filler.

2020 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK

Pass. But not to Tyrie Cleveland if you’re Drew Lock.

TALENT:
OPPORTUNITY:
2020 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK:

 

For more 2020 NFL Draft coverage, check out these:

The Rookie Roundup… Roundup
Fantasy Football Fallout: 2020 NFL Draft Round One
Football Absurdity Podcast: First Round Recap

 

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About Jeff Krisko

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