Hunter Renfrow, Denver Broncos


Hunter Renfrow, Denver Broncos


Getty

Hunter Renfrow #13 of the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Denver Broncos could very well have rookie first-round pick Bo Nix under center for Week 1 of the regular season. Nix is the most experienced quarterback in NCAA history with a record 61 starts to his credit.

Still, the Broncos can help make his transition to the NFL easier. They have a deep corp of wide receivers. But very few of them are proven.

Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox believes a former Las Vegas Raider can help the Broncos in free agency.

“At some point, a team has to take a flier on receiver Hunter Renfrow, right? The 28-year-old has struggled over the past two seasons, but he was a Pro Bowler with the Raiders in 2021,” Knox wrote on July 4. “The Denver Broncos should … take a look at Renfrow. Denver is looking to develop rookie quarterback Bo Nix and doesn’t have a lot of proven pass-catchers after Courtland Sutton.”

“Denver’s passing game coordinator, John Morton, was a senior offensive assistant with the Raiders during Renfrow’s Pro Bowl year.”

Renfrow logged 103 receptions for 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns during his Pro Bowl campaign in 2021. He has 61 grabs for 585 yards and two scores in the two seasons since, including a 25-255-0 line this past season.

He was entering the final season of a two-year, $32.3 million contract extension.

Renfrow was set to count $13 million against the salary cap this coming season. The Raiders cut Renfrow in March, saving $8 million.


Broncos Added PFF’s No. 118 Player in Free Agency to WR Room

Josh Reynolds, Denver Broncos

GettyJosh Reynolds #11 of the Denver Broncos.

Knox also suggested the Broncos could be a landing spot for three-time Pro Bowler Michael Thomas in free agency. Broncos head coach Sean Payton is familiar with Thomas from their time together with the New Orleans Saints.

However, one of the players who figures to provide some stability for the Broncos also projects to fill a similar role on the field as Thomas would.

“Reynolds does not have the best release package or quickest jump off the line, but he has a good feel for where he is on the football field and is generally sure-handed,” Pro Football Focus wrote for the receiver’s free agent profile. “Usually a reliable go-to weapon on third and fourth downs. Reynolds also does quite well from condensed splits to square-up linebackers and safeties at the second level as a run blocker.”

Thomas slotted in just one spot higher.

“Thomas is still a smooth glider who can make contested catches with great hands and footwork along the sideline,” PFF wrote. “He doesn’t quite have the same explosiveness of his heydays, but elite athleticism was never necessarily how he won as more of a master technician, so it’s all a question of health.”

Reynolds had 40 receptions for 608 yards with the Detroit Lions last season, tying his career-high with five touchdowns.

He signed a two-year, $9 million deal with the Broncos in free agency.

Thomas appeared in 10 games, his most since the 2019 campaign. That could make Renfrow – who is three years younger – a better fit with this group than Thomas. But the former Saint star is not the only potential hurdle between Renfrow and a roster spot with the Broncos.


Broncos Depth Could Work Against Hunter Renfrow

Marvin Mims Jr., Denver Broncos

GettyMarvin Mims Jr. #19 of the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos are not expected to compete for a playoff spot this season. That could work against a veteran like Renfrow looking to find a home in free agency.

Denver has several young players they hope to develop alongside Nix.

Payton said 2023 second-round pick Marvin Mims Jr. will have a larger role in the offense with Jerry Jeudy traded to the Cleveland Browns. Mims made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in the return game. He could fulfill much of the same role as Renfrow would for Denver if signed.

The Broncos also have veteran Tim Patrick looking to reestablish himself after two seasons lost to injury.

They also drafted Nix’s college teammate, Troy Franklin in the fourth round of the 2024 draft.

Players like veterans Brandon Johnson, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Phillip Dorsett, and rookie Devaughn Vele all present in-house alternatives to the Broncos bringing in Renfrow in free agency. Even with training camp yet to come, he could face a steep learning curve to catch up.

Josh Buckhalter covers the NBA and NFL for Heavy.com. He has covered both leagues since 2016, including bylines at FanSided, Last Word on Sports and Clocker Sports. He’s based in Villa Park, Illinois. Follow Josh on Twitter and Instagram: @JoshGBuck More about Josh Buckhalter





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