Broncos made a move that could keep them in the AFC West race

Denver Broncos wide receiver John Brown. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos wide receiver John Brown. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images) /

Did the Denver Broncos just make a move that will keep them in the mix in the AFC West for the 2021 season? We take a look at the impact of John Brown.

After a 3-0 start, the Denver Broncos have found themselves in a really tough spot with two straight losses to AFC opponents.

The Los Angeles Chargers are surging and appear to be legit contenders this season. The Las Vegas Raiders are a bit of a question mark with the recent resignation of head coach Jon Gruden, but the roster is still strong and they have looked really good at times early in the season. The Kansas City Chiefs may currently be in last place, but everyone expects them to still be in the thick of things come January.

The Broncos desperately needed to make a couple of moves at the wide receiver position after an ankle injury put Jerry Jeudy on the shelf in week one and a knee injury will cost KJ Hamler the entire 2021 season.

The Broncos made a very important move for staying in AFC West contention

Even after the team already made a move to acquire veteran David Moore, most notably formerly of the Seattle Seahawks, the Broncos decided to go out after Week 5 and grab another veteran receiver.

That veteran is none other than John Brown, the former Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, and Buffalo Bills receiver.

Brown signed in free agency with the Raiders, who are not coincidentally the Broncos’ opponents in NFL Week 6 action.

Even though Brown has not been on an NFL practice field for the last six weeks, he’s been obviously keeping in shape and has the opportunity to exploit a defense he went up against every single day in the 2021 offseason.

Perhaps most critically, Brown gives the Denver Broncos a vastly different type of receiver to the two healthy studs that remain after the injuries to Jeudy and Hamler. Namely, Brown offers something vastly different than what the big, tall, sure-handed Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick provide.

Brown has big-time speed, and although Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick are capable of winning in the vertical passing game, Brown offers a different type of downfield threat that adds another dimension and dynamic to the Broncos’ offense.

I might even be so bold to say that John Brown is an upgrade over KJ Hamler, at least in the short term, because Hamler has not yet proven or established himself in the NFL as John Brown has.

Brown as a vertical threat will hopefully prevent teams from loading the box against the Broncos’ running game. Just that threat with his speed downfield will force defenses to stay honest and could allow Melvin Gordon and rookie Javonte Williams to really pick up steam in the coming weeks.

Although he’s just one small piece who was only added to the practice squad (obviously with the intent to eventually get him on the active roster), John Brown could be a game-changing addition for the Broncos as they attempt to make the postseason and stay relevant for 17 games in the AFC West.