Peyton Mannning Helps Demaryius Thomas Realize Elite Potential

By Randy Holt

Demaryius Thomas has always been a guy with some big time potential. Drafted out of Georgia Tech, many anticipated that he’d eventually reach a similar level to that of his wide receiving predecessor out of GT, Calvin Johnson.

That didn’t really transpire as quickly as anyone in Thomas’ camp, or the Denver Broncos expected. A combination of injury and mediocre quarterbacking (See: Tim Tebow) led to a couple of majorly disappointing years in Thomas’ first two years at the highest level.

This season has been a different story for all involved, though. The arrival of Peyton Manning has led to a spike in numbers all over the board for the Broncos. Not that anyone expected any different when he signed with them this past offseason.

Manning is the type of guy who makes everyone around him better. Look no further than Brandon Stokley for an example of that. Stokley’s career looked over after he and Manning were separated a few years ago. But Manning and the Broncos brought Stokely in and he’s been a solid performer for this offense this year.

That isn’t exactly the case with Thomas, though. This is a guy with elite tools. He’s big, he’s fast, tough to bring down, and he’s only 24 years old. He just needed a real quarterback to get him the ball to help him take that next step, and jump into the conversation with some of the league’s best.

Thomas is on pace to eclipse all of his numbers from his first two seasons. He’s already tied last year’s number for catches, with 32 on the season. He’s just nine short of his total yards from a season ago. And he’s just a touchdown short of his career mark of four. We haven’t even begun Week 8 yet.

His name isn’t quite there with the league’s best yet, but Demaryius Thomas is well on his way. If he’s not an elite receiver yet, he’s on the cusp. He’s one of the best possession guys out there, and is extremely tough to bring down. There are still things to work on (fumbles), but the Denver Broncos look like they have one of the best receivers out there catching passes.

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