If the signing of Emmanuel Sanders made Broncos fans feel better about losing stud receiver Eric Decker to the New York Jets, then second-round pick Cody Latimer will make them say, “Decker who?”
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound wide receiver hails from Indiana University and flew under the radar during the combine because of a lingering foot injury which limited him to only the bench press, where he posted an impressive 23 reps. Three weeks later at the IU Pro Day, he ran a 4.39 forty-yard dash and a 39-inch vertical jump (star basketball player in high school). The injury, though, made Latimer fall to the Denver Broncos at pick No. 56, and he was the fourth receiver taken in the second round alone after Marqise Lee, Jordan Matthews, Paul Richardson and Davante Adams.
Sanders should replace most of Decker’s production the past two seasons, but Latimer will bring back a physical, big wide receiver on the outside that Decker held for the past three seasons. He has the measurables and the college resume to help Denver replace Decker, who’s now in the Big Apple. His size and speed combination gave Big Ten cornerbacks problems, finishing his junior season with 72 catches for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns — not bad for a player who only played two years of high school football at Jefferson Township in Ohio.
Although the Hoosiers finished the season at 5-7 (3-5 Big Ten), they were a pass-heavy, uptempo offense which we all know will be Denver’s game plan in 2014. Given that Peyton Manning could probably get a fullback to a 1,000 yards receiving if he wanted to, Latimer adds to the recipe of success for the Broncos with already having a head start on the offense. With Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Sanders in the mix, Latimer might not get a whole lot of catches in his rookie season, but like Decker, he will probably be a star by year two or three.