Denver Broncos’ Wes Welker Ranked 44th by the Players

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Wes Welker was voted by the players as the 44th best player in the NFL. The NFL Network reveled numbers 50-41 on Thursday night, and the newly minted Denver Bronco found himself right in the middle.

As a Broncos fan my bias is that every Broncos player is going to be ranked too low, but as they did with Champ Bailey last week, the players got this one right. It should be pointed out that, at least in my mind, there is sometimes a difference between who the best players are and who the most important players are.

If you ranked the best receivers just purely on talent, then Welker would probably be pretty far down on that list. However, if you ranked receivers on their importance to their respective teams, then Welker would be right at the top of that list. When you combine the two, Welker being ranked at 44 is probably just about right.

Don’t get me wrong, Welker has a ton of talent just not the physical tools of a Demaryius Thomas that will make people turn their heads. There’s no receiver in the league that knows how to get open better than Welker, and he is one of the quickest when getting in and out of routes.

Quarterbacks are expected to be able to read defenses and find the weak spots, and no one does that better than Peyton Manning. However, there are very few receivers who read defenses like a quarterback, but Welker is one of them. He sets up defensive backs with his quickness of course, but he also sets them up with his mind.

Welker sees what a defensive back is going to do or how he is going to cover a given route and then adjusts off of that. When you combine the quickness of Welker with his intelligence you get a receiver that is open on seemingly every play.

Now the Broncos have a quarterback in Manning and a receiver in Welker who are reading defenses the same way, and that thought will keep defensive coordinators up at night this fall.

Welker is probably a more important player than his 44th ranking by the players would indicate, but based on the criteria, it’s an accurate ranking. Although defensive coordinators probably have a much different ranking for a player like Welker along with a few four-letter words.

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