ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Wide receiver wasn’t the Broncos’ biggest need. But David Anderson, who agreed to terms with the Broncos on Saturday night, could represent a small piece of the overall puzzle.
The first three days of training camp saw a vivid stratification of the Broncos’ receivers — and a chasm separating the two classes. At the top were the four receivers with the most experience with the club: Brandon Lloyd, Eddie Royal, Eric Decker and Matthew Willis. The first two are fairly proven; the second two are not, although Decker has seen plenty of work in three-wide receiver packages and is a much crisper route-runner and reliable pass-catcher than he was for his first training camp 12 months ago.
Beyond those four sits a collection of receivers comprised mainly of undrafted free agents. Most have suffered from timing issues and dropped passes — perfectly understandable afflictions given the absence of a true offseason to work with Denver’s quarterbacks.
But if injuries struck any of the top four receivers, the Broncos would be in a quandary, especially after the trade of Jabar Gaffney and the continued rehabilitation of Demaryius Thomas, whose recovery from a torn Achilles tendon will almost certainly linger into the season and could torpedo it altogether.
If nothing else, Anderson, a Colorado State alumnus, will provide a bridge between the groups of receivers and an insurance policy. His career per-catch average is unremarkable (10.9 yards) and he only has three career touchdowns on 81 career receptions over the last five seasons, but he at least possesses game experience, something virtually absent beyond the Broncos’ top receivers.
The need Anderson fills might be considered minimal — but it was a need nonetheless.