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Published on 10/18/2011 at Tue Oct 18 08:00.
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The Broncos will need Demaryius Thomas to stay healthy and create big plays on offense now that Lloyd is gone . (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

With receiver Brandon Lloyd now reunited with Josh McDaniels in St. Louis, the Denver Broncos need to fill a void at receiver.

“I feel like since they traded Lloyd, they’re going to need somebody to step up, and I feel like I can be that guy,” said second year receiver Demaryius Thomas on Monday.  The Broncos agree with Thomas.

There are several young receivers that have impressed the coaching staff in Denver, which made it easier for the team to deal Lloyd.

“It’s an opportunity for some other guys,” said head coach John Fox.  “We feel strong about our receiving corps moving forward.”

Thomas is expected to play on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, which would be the first time he’s been on the field for nearly a year, due to multiple injuries.  When healthy, Thomas has provided an athletic deep threat for the Broncos.

With the ability to match up against some of the best in the business, Thomas is a 6-3, 235 pound receiver who caught eight passes for 97 yards and a touchdown in his rookie debut last season.  Joining Thomas as one of the main receivers for Denver is fellow second year player Eric Decker, who has had a great start in 2011.

“Our young receivers have really emerged and made some plays, and this is a great opportunity for them to continue to step up,” Broncos’ Executive John Elway said following the announcement of trading Lloyd.

None of the Broncos receivers have emerged quite like Decker, who has caught 22 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns through five games.  Explosive fourth year player Eddie Royal has had a quiet start to the season (partly due to injury), but still provides another reliable option in the passing game.

The fourth and fifth receivers on Denver’s depth chart are Matt Willis and return specialist Quan Cosby.  Most of Denver’s receivers have had their high moments with starting quarterback Tim Tebow.  Over the past two preseasons, Willis has appeared to be Tebow’s favorite target, while Decker caught Tebow’s first ever (preseason) touchdown pass last year.

During their rookie seasons, Tebow and Thomas connected nicely during training camp, while Cosby has yet to play with Tebow.  Tebow has only connected with Royal twice, when Tebow started the final three games of the 2010 season.

Another option for the Broncos is Eron Riley, who is currently on the practice squad.  Riley is coming off an impressive preseason a year after playing under Fox in Carolina.

If Tebow — and the Broncos’ entire offense — are going to succeed, they’ll need some of the team’s young receivers to step up.  Denver’s coaching staff is confident that they will.  Are you?

  • Guest

    Demaryius Thomas should be good as long as nobody hits him.  I’m so happy we passed on Dez.  McDumbass.

  • Anonymous

    Dez?  I guess you are serious…after all the crap off the field, after Deon gave up on him, people paid to baby sit him, you are still wanting Dez?  Each to their own, I will take the brittle guy who works hard and has a good attitude.

  • Anonymous

    I am excited to see Thomas play. I like his potential, but like everyone else I am worried that he can stay healthy.  I like Dez as well, but with his baggage, I would rather have Thomas over him anytime.  We do not need anymore problem childs on our team.  104.3 has mentioned that they think at least 2 more players will be traded by the deadline today (Orton, DJ and Royal).  Out of those 3 I think they should keep Royal.  With the injuries we have had at WR we might need him. 

  • whastmyfox

    Next inane cliche UP

  • Anonymous

    Dez is on the field, Thomas is a bust

  • Calnugs62384

    So mizike, I bet you were also calling Darren McFadden a bust after last season as well weren’t you? You can’t call someone a bay 6 weeks into his second season. I’ll take him over Dez any day. You also have to remember, Dez has a better QB getting him the ball there einstein.

  • 12508

    Dez is a top five wr when on the field. What off field baggage? DEZ plays hard and is a beast. Thomas had done nothing in this league. Eric Decker is the number one on this team now. DEZ would be the best player on this roster. No wonder we stink. Everyone want players that go to church on Sunday. Give me a bunch of guys that come to play.

  • stav

    Well, we were sure as hell right about Marshall, look at the mess he is. Dez Bryant is a mushroom cloud waiting to happen. I like Thomas, but can he just get on the field? The guy is a monster but let’s not be stupid again and put him in the endzone returning kicks? Decker? Love ‘em, he’s a bigger/faster Easy Ed. The bust on the Broncos? #27. He is no way close to being an everydown back, but his hands are great. He could/should model his game after Kevin Faulk and be a great 3rd down/receiving back, but dont expect 1st round money if they choose to re-sign him.

  • Miketritz

    I don’t know if anyone here remembers but, we also passed on Desean Jackson, taking Eddie Royal instead because of Jackson’s supposed character issues. Imagine, Dez Briant and Desean Jackson as the Broncos wide outs.
    Oh well…

  • crazykid

    didn’t DT get one of the highest scores on the Wonderlic Test in his draft class too?

  • crazykid

    What a headache that would be, especially with Marshall in that mix…

  • Anonymous

    It wasn’t character issues, Shanny said that Royal was a better fit and more NFL ready…which judging by his rookie year was actually spot on.  Royal was under used after Shanny left as well as injured a couple times, still a good pick.

  • Donks303

    You guys are talking about Dez’s character issues? Do you guys even know Thomas was implicated in the Perrish Cox thing? Dez got in a fight at a mall. Big deal. Read the affadavit from the Cox case. Passing on Bryant was dumb, but I still think Thomas can be a very good receiver if he can stay healthy. Get out there and catch some touchdowns. Go Broncos

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