Friday, May 9, 2014
Broncos pick Cody Latimer in 2nd
By Jeff Legwold
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The pick: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
My take: The Broncos saw their opportunity to jump up to get the kind of receiver they wanted on this draft board and took it. They moved up seven spots in the second round to grab Latimer. In a draft filled with big, fast wideouts, Latimer fits the bill at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, a player who ran in the 4.4s in the 40-yard dash at his pro day.
The Broncos decided they simply couldn't wait any longer to get a receiver who carried a first-round grade from many teams. With Emmanuel Sanders having signed as a free agent to replace Eric Decker, Latimer projects as a rotation player at wide receiver at the outset. Given Wes Welker's concussion history and the fact both Welker and Demaryius Thomas are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents following the 2014 season, the Broncos needed to use the deepest receiver class in memory to help fortify the position. Latimer will contribute this season.
Learning curve: A high percentage of Latimer's catches at Indiana were on short and intermediate routes, such as quick slants and screens, so he will have to show he can do a little more down the field with the Broncos. He came out a year early, so he has plenty of room to grow coming off his lone 1,000-yard season with the Hoosiers (72 catches, 1,096 yards and 15 touchdowns). He has a powerful frame, strong hands and a fearless approach to the game. He'll be asked to run a far larger variety of routes in the Broncos' offense and be able to function in a no-huddle offense that does most of its work at the line of scrimmage, but he fits the physical profile the Broncos were looking for in this draft at the position.
What's next: It was almost a slam dunk that the Broncos were going to grab a receiver in the second round. So, as they move into the third round and beyond, the Broncos will be looking for a running back, a middle linebacker and a right tackle.