Most fans figured that many of the Denver Broncos‘ wide receivers would get better with the arrival of Peyton Manning last season. It wasn’t a real bold prediction to make, because we all know that Manning can take an average player and make them into a superstar. Demaryius Thomas was the guy many pegged to be the next ‘Manning-made’ star, and all those predicting a breakout season, were 100% correct.
Thomas had by far his career-season in 2012, racking up 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 2012 total production, was greater than his fist two years combined. Manning no doubt deserves a lot of credit for Thomas’ emergence, but let’s face it, he didn’t have a QB worth much of anything during his rookie and sophomore seasons. Now heading into 2013, it’s fair to wonder if Thomas can continue to live up to his new standards.
I for one, think he can and will continue to be the No. 1 guy for Denver. His size and athletic ability make him the best option for that role, as Eric Decker and Wes Welker just aren’t typical No. 1 receivers. Welker is going to maintain his role as a slot receiver, and Decker should pencil into the No. 2 spot, and there’s no reason to think that these three guys won’t be in these same roles for the next couple of seasons.
Thomas’ 2012 season was no fluke. Yes, he was enhanced by Manning’s greatness, but he was due for a breakout year either way. I do think he will have a tough time topping his yard total from a season ago, simply because Welker is going to command a lot of touches. But, I do think Thomas will score more touchdowns, and become a better red zone target. Overall, he should continue to evolve as a receiver, and there’s no way he’ll regress with the massive amount of talent surrounding him.
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