With the 56th pick in the NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select Cody Latimer, receiver out of Indiana.
The Broncos actually traded up to get Latimer in the second round. Latimer is a good player and could be a force in the Peyton Manning-led Broncos offense.
The timing of the selection is the alarming part. Wide receiver was a need for the Broncos after losing Eric Decker to the Jets in free agency. But Denver re-signed Andre Caldwell and brought in Emmanuel Sanders as a free agent. There were other needs for the Broncos as they were yet to select a middle linebacker at the moment.
The pick had fans scratching their heads for sure.
The Broncos already have superstar Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker at the receiver position. Thomas is a free agent after this season but the Broncos will do everything they can to keep him in Denver. So he is not going anywhere.
That leaves Welker and he could be the odd man out.
Welker was the big free-agent splash of last season. He has been the most productive slot receiver in the history of the NFL. Adding him made the Broncos offense a high-powered machine. Denver broke too many records to count last season.
But there were some injury problems with Welker. He suffered two concussions last season and missed three games. He played against his former team in the New England Patriots but really shouldn’t have because of his head injury. Welker was not a factor in the game.
He has also had a few problems with drops. Everyone remembers his drop in the Super Bowl while with the Patriots. Also, film has shown Manning getting on Welker about a drop against the Seattle Seahawks.
Welker signed a two-year deal with the Broncos and was far from bad last season. But the grind of football could be hurting Welker due to his small frame. He has taken his far share of hits and the Broncos know that.
Denver could be looking to the future with the pick of Latimer. And CBS4’s Vic Lombardi says he is being brought in here to compete to start right away.
I’m told Cody Latimer will compete for a starting job this year. Not next year. Like now.
— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) May 12, 2014
If Latimer is coming in to start, whose spot would he be taking? Thomas is not going anywhere. Sanders signed for a decent amount of money and Caldwell was not re-signed for nothing. Welker is on the last year of his deal and could become a cap cut during training camp.
Welker brings a lot to the game but the Broncos are showing their concern for his health with the Latimer pick. Denver could just have all the receivers on the roster this season to give Manning a crazy amount of weapons.
Welker was signed as a short-term fix for the Broncos. He was also signed to steal him away from the Patriots. Welker may play out his contract with the team but his playing time will be diminished this season.
He is great receiver but the Broncos are trying to get younger. Welker’s possible departure may just be a part of the cruel business that is the NFL.
Follow Chris on Twitter (@ChrisSchmaedeke).
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