Which Denver Broncos late-round pick could surprise in 2020?
The Broncos used their first-round pick on Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, a player who was considered the WR1 by many in this draft class and undoubtedly the best route runner in the class.
In the second round, the Broncos doubled up and took Penn State speedster KJ Hamler who figures to make an instant impact on their offense as well.
In the seventh round, the Broncos once again went to the wide receiver position and selected a player who has a chance to be one of the top late-round sleepers of the 2020 NFL Draft class — Florida’s Tyrie Cleveland.
Cleveland can impress on special teams immediately
Cleveland was certainly noted for his size and speed at Florida, two traits that help tremendously in the game’s third phase: Special teams.
This was even something Broncos general manager John Elway spoke to when the team selected Cleveland:
Cleveland’s career statistics at Florida are fairly modest. Even with quarterback struggles, the Gators had so many mouths to feed it was tough for Cleveland to stand out.
Who knows if the story would have been different had he wound up at a school like Oklahoma, but there was something in the water at Florida and they had an entire room full of NFL receivers this past season.
He caught 79 passes for 1,271 yards and eight touchdowns, also averaging over 24 yards per return on 10 kickoff returns.
His clearest path to the roster, however, may not be as strictly a wide receiver, but an ace on special teams.
The Broncos quietly emphasized a complete revamp of their punting game this offseason.
Although many in the Denver fan base had been calling for coordinator Tom McMahon to be fired, the Broncos opted for continuity in the coaching department and they let go of punter Colby Wadman along with long snapper Casey Kreiter, and now they may have a host of new gunners.
With Cleveland’s success there, it won’t be shocking to see him make the team as a rookie and even make a substantial impact on games.
Even if Cleveland’s involvement early on is just on special teams, that always has the potential to lead to snaps on the offense.
The Broncos have two top draft picks expected to make a substantial impact on the offense but don’t sleep on Tyrie Cleveland just because of his seventh-round draft status.
He might be the ace up their special teams’ sleeve.