Just because the Broncos didn't have a first-round pick doesn't mean that their rookie class won't make a sizable impact.
In fact, NFL.com’s Chad Reuter projects two of Denver's draft picks (tight end Greg Dulcich and wide receiver/return specialist Montrell Washington) to be the best at their respective positions among rookies in 2022.
"The Broncos have a talented collection of wide receivers for quarterback Russell Wilson to find downfield in Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and Jerry Jeudy," Reuter wrote. "However, Dulcich has a chance to see a lot of snaps as either a starter or the running mate of Albert Okwuegbunam at tight end. The former Bruins star could become a safety valve and red-zone threat for Wilson. Remember when Jimmy Graham had 16 TDs in his final two seasons in Seattle (2016-17)?"
And while Washington isn't grouped among receivers, Reuter did pick him to be the top return specialist of the rookie class for how he could reinvigorate Denver's return game.
"The Broncos averaged just 16.2 yards per kickoff return (last in the NFL) and 8.2 yards per punt return (19th) in 2021," Reuter wrote. "Washington's ability to attack coverage units after fielding a kickoff (returned one for touchdown at Samford last year) or punt (four returned for TD in his career with the Bulldogs) will bring the excitement that Denver's special teams units have sorely lacked. He also scored six times as a runner and nine times as a receiver in 2021, so it's possible he sees some snaps on offense down the line."
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Speaking of Washington, The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider recently provided a closer look at his transition to the NFL. With Denver's opening at returner and Washington's experience at Samford, he seems like a natural fit for the role, one that takes him back to his childhood.
"As kids, you throw the football in the air, and you catch it, and all your friends try to get you," Washington told Kosmider. "That's kind of how punt return is for me when I'm back there. I feel like it's a game and I'm in the backyard. I just have to go score."