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NFL Denver Broncos

5 Reasons Why Demaryius Thomas Will Lead the NFL in Receiving in 2014

5 Reasons Why Demaryius Thomas Will Lead the NFL in Receiving in 2014

Demaryius Thomas Ron Chenoy
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Demaryius Thomas is one of the top receivers in the NFL. Since being paired with Peyton Manning in 2012, Thomas has been selected to two consecutive Pro Bowls and has ranked in the top 10 of each of the three major receiving categories. At just 26 years of age, Thomas looks to be entering the prime of his career as the Denver Broncos contend for a Lombardi Trophy. Here are five reasons why Thomas will lead the NFL in receiving in 2014.

5. The Departure of Eric Decker

NFL: Denver Broncos at Houston Texans
Troy Taormina- USA Today Sports

5. The Departure of Eric Decker

NFL: Denver Broncos at Houston Texans
Troy Taormina - USA Today Sports

Eric Decker was the Broncos' No. 2 option in the receiving game over the past two years. Decker was targeted 123 times in 2012 and 137 times in 2013. Although Peyton Manning will continue to spread the targets to the Broncos' other receivers, Thomas will be the true beneficiary of Decker's departure to the New York Jets. More targets for Thomas equals better statistics for the fifth-year receiver.

4. His Size

Corey Webster
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

4. His Size

Corey Webster
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Demaryius Thomas is 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds. He is by far the largest wide receiver on the Broncos' roster. With the exception of the newly drafted Cody Latimer, the Broncos don't have any receivers on the roster who are worthwhile red zone targets. Thomas had 14 touchdown receptions in 2013, which ranked second in the NFL. Expect that number to be boosted, which means Thomas will lead the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 2014.

3. The Presence of Peyton Manning

Tennessee Titans v Denver Broncos
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3. The Presence of Peyton Manning

Tennessee Titans v Denver Broncos
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Peyton Manning is the most statistically accomplished quarterback in the game today. Just about every receiver who has played with Manning had his stats boosted just because of Manning's presence. While with the Indianapolis Colts, Manning helped Marvin Harrison break the single-season receptions record when Harrison caught 143 passes in 2002. Expect Thomas to have 100 receptions in 2014.

2. His Supporting Cast

NFL: Divisional Round-San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos
Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports

2. His Supporting Cast

Weapons
Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports

Although the Broncos may want you to believe that they're going to run the football more in 2014, this offense is still purely predicated on the success of the passing game. Outside of Thomas and Manning, the Broncos have the most stacked receiving corps in the NFL with Wes Welker, Emmanuel Sanders, Andre Caldwell and Julius Thomas. The 2013 Broncos broke offensive records, and the 2014 Broncos will continue to dominate offensively.

1. He is the Biggest Playmaker in Denver

Demaryius Thomas Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports

1. He is the Biggest Playmaker in Denver

Demaryius Thomas Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports

Even more so now that Decker is gone, Thomas is the Broncos' biggest playmaker. The reliance on Thomas to make big plays in the receiving game combined with the dependence upon him in the red zone will lead to Thomas leading the NFL in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Thomas has established himself as one of the top receivers in the NFL, but expect 2014 to be the year he establishes himself as the best receiver in the game.