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Mile High Morning: KJ Hamler 'well ahead of schedule' in ACL recovery, The Athletic dives into the process

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The Lead

As the Broncos' new offense under Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett and quarterback Russell Wilson begins taking shape during the offseason program, the biggest wild card may be wide receiver KJ Hamler.

Hamler, who boasts game-breaking speed, has been a tantalizing talent during his first two years in Denver. In 2020, his two-reception, two-touchdown game against the Panthers evinced exactly what he can bring to the Broncos' offense, but for key stretches of the 2020 and 2021 seasons, Hamler has battled injuries, the most significant of which was the season-ending ACL tear in Week 3 against the Jets.

In a recent article from The Athletic's Nick Kosmider, Hamler and Wide Receivers Coach Zach Azzanni discussed his rehab and the struggles that he's battled in the process to get to where he is in his recovery, which General Manager George Paton said Friday was "well ahead of schedule."

"I do know KJ and I do know his spirit and his toughness," Wide Receivers Coach Zach Azzanni told Kosmider. "If anyone can come back from this for this season ahead of schedule, it's him."

With the addition of Wilson, Hamler has been even more excited to return. He told Kosmider that he envisions himself in the kind of role that Seattle's Tyler Lockett had with Wilson and that he's been in contact with Lockett about it.

"I'm a big fan of Tyler's game and me and him have talked a lot," Hamler said. "I've just been picking his brain, like, 'How does Russ handle these situations?' It's being a sponge, absorbing knowledge from two Pro Bowl guys. I put on Tyler's film and I'm like, 'OK, he did this and he did that.' And then it's, 'OK, I can do all this.' I've just got to go out there and play and get back on the field."

Below the Fold

We'll have another mock draft roundup before the draft begins on Thursday, but in the meantime, here's a new one from NFL.com's Chad Reuter. Reuter projects the Broncos to select tight end Greg Dulcich from UCLA with the 64th-overall pick.

The Unclassifieds

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