Latimer is a player to monitor this offseason, especially if Wes Welker retires and Emmanuel Sanders moves inside. Latimer had a disappointing rookie season and wasn't even able to beat out Andre Caldwell. However, it takes time to earn Peyton Manning's trust, and the franchise didn't draft him in the second round to ride the proverbial pine.
If the Broncos continue emphasizing three-WR sets, and Wes Welker does not return, there's a role for WR Cody Latimer, perhaps lining up outside with Emmanuel Sanders moving into the slot in that package, or even in the slot, on routes like the one he ran in Dallas in the preseason finale last summer.
One aspect of Latimer's skill set that must be noted is his blocking ability, considered by some to be the best among last year's wide receiver class. If he can take his outside blocking skills and transfer them to the inside -- not as a tight end, but standing up in a tight slot alignment -- then the Broncos could have the blocking effectiveness of a two-tight end set with a three-wide receiver formation.
Latimer is unproven, but presents possibilities that the new coaching staff will likely explore.
Latimer is a player to monitor this offseason, especially if Welker retires and Sanders moves inside. Latimer had a disappointing rookie season and wasn't even able to beat out Andre Caldwell. However, it takes time to earn Peyton Manning's trust and the franchise didn't draft him in the second round to ride the proverbial pine.
Broncos beat writer Mike Klis on the status of rookie WR Cody Latimer...
It's time for the Broncos to take the training wheels off Latimer, their second-round draft pick this year. Not necessarily because of problems with Caldwell and Welker as receivers. I thought Caldwell performed quite well Sunday at St. Louis in what was his first significant chance at playing time this year.
It's just that Latimer would bring some added strength, toughness and physicality to an offense where all the talk is about how it needs more strength, toughness and physicality.
Denver WR Emmanuel Sanders was sent to the locker room in the third quarter after taking a vicious hit from safety Rodney McLeod. The team, soon after, announced the receiver would not return due to a concussion.
The good news is reports after the game indicated Sanders seemed alert in the locker room, but reporters are not allowed to interview players who are concussed until they are cleared by NFL protocol. If Sanders has to miss action, Andre Caldwell could end up seeing more time and has proved to be a valuable short-term fantasy option in the past. Cody Latimer could also be an option.
Friday, October 10, 2014, 6:13pm
Broncos WR Andre Caldwell (knee, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 6. It looks like Caldwell’s injury isn’t severe, which means that Cody Latimer will have to continue to bide his time.
Thursday, October 9, 2014, 6:46pm
Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 6:37pm
The Broncos' decision-makers like WR Cody Latimer’s physicality at the position, his top-end speed and the ability he showed to go up in a crowd and come down with the ball. As a result the team believes Latimer can, and will, be a factor in the offense.
The question is when that time will come and that’s not even something Laitmer can answer with any certainty, even as much as he'd like it to be sooner rather than later.
“I just keep grinding, try to wait your turn, keep working in practice,’’ Latimer said. “That first game, I was kind like, man, but you look and see what’s happening and keep going. I do know if I don’t practice hard, make plays in practice, they’re not going to play me. I want to keep their attention.’’
He has it, but in the Broncos’ big picture, the Broncos are choosing veteran Andre Caldwell at the moment to the be the offense’s No. 4 receiver behind Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Wes Welker while the fifth receiver spot on game day has been taken by rookie Isaiah Burse, who is the team’s primary punt returner. Caldwell has been the No. 1 kickoff returner as well, but after 40 snaps on offense in the season opener, Caldwell has played five and two snaps, respectively, on offense in the past two games.
So, when the Broncos make the move from 53 players to 46 on game day, Latimer has been moved aside because of others’ special-teams duties.
The team still runs Andre Caldwell ahead of Latimer, so he isn't worth rostering in redraft leagues.
Andre Caldwell wasn't mentioned in the video, but Legwold was focusing on Latimer and Sanders' extra work with Peyton Manning, something that Caldwell doesn't necessarily need since he and Manning have played together for a while now. So it's not clear if he was inferring that Latimer and Sanders would pick up the slack due to the extra work, or if he has seen some other indication that this will be the case. Regardless, with Welker out, there are targets and snaps to be distributed, and all three players should see a larger role. We won't know if Latimer or Caldwell is the better start until we see their usage, though we're betting on the larger Latimer having a red zone role, which enhances his value.
Welker was making his way back from a concussion, but will now have an involuntary month off as he serves the suspension. Emmanuel Sanders sees a small bump, while rookie Cody Latimer will have a chance for starter's snaps if he can beat out Andre Caldwell early in the season. As for Welker, we were already pretty low on him due to concerns about the repeated concussions. We recommend a hands off approach until at least the 11th round.
"We're able to move pieces around and still do a lot of the same things that we've done," said Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase. "We don't really teach by position, so everybody can move in and out.''
WR Emmanuel Sanders would certainly get more work as a slot receiver, as would tight end Jacob Tamme, but at varying points in training camp the Broncos have given all of their receivers some routes from the slot. Tamme gives the Broncos the option of sticking to a three-wide concept with a little more size in the formation. It's a formation that, at times, forces defenses to go a little bigger because the Broncos are in a two tight end look.
While everyone assumed Latimer may benefit the most from Welker missing time, that perhaps now appears to be Tamme. While Tamme would still be a bit of risky fantasy play at TE, we at least learned that Latimer is a potential, late-round draft target especially for Welker owners. There was no mention of Andre Caldwell in the story, so it appears Latimer's size will at least be a red zone tool if Welker has to miss time.
“I can’t give a level. It’s just a concussion,” Fox said. “I don’t think there’s part concussion, half concussion. Either you’re concussed or you’re not, the way I understand it.”
While it might seem like a small distinction, it’s actually quite important (even as John Harbaugh was describing Bernard Pierce as having a mild concussion). Getting coaches to accept the seriousness of head injuries is a huge step, as for too long, there was a “rub some dirt on it,” element to the business.
But since this is Welker’s third concussion in 10 months, the Broncos have no choice but to take it seriously. Fox added that Welker was in good spirits and didn't sense Welker was hinting about retiring. However, just the fact it was even a topic of conversation is a pretty scary thing - fantasy football aside. From a fantasy perspective, owners should make sure they back themselves up with an extra WR in case Welker misses time. We think Cody Latimer has a better upside than Andre Caldwell going forward, but both could contribute in various packages. Emmanuel Sanders could end up moving to the slot.
The sobering reality, however, is that Welker has suffered three concussions in 10 months, all serious enough to force him to exit a game. He will undergo the mandated concussion protocol and must be cleared by the Broncos' medical staff and an independent doctor before practicing.
"I believe he's going to be good," said receiver Demaryius Thomas, who spoke to Welker on Saturday.
Welker makes a living on underneath routes that turn him into a human pinball, as the story puts it, and it's a frightening number of concussions in a short period of time. Welker has potential to put up huge numbers, especially in PPR leagues, but the treat of losing him for weeks at a time means you need to back yourself up. Andre Caldwell and Cody Latimer could be guys to keep an eye on as possible pickups, with the rookie Latimer having a higher upside.
Broncos coach John Fox said Welker suffered a concussion during the team's 18-17 loss Saturday night to the Texans. Welker left the game following a hit to the helmet from Houston safety D.J. Swearinger.
"It was determined it was a concussion," Fox said. "He'll go through the protocol. The biggest thing on him is, of course, player safety. He'll go through the protocol."
As the article states, Welker has had a history of concussions, so this could be a serious situation. It's unclear how this will impact his long-term status. In the short-term, Emmanuel Sanders will likely move to the slot with rookie Cody Latimer and trusted veteran Andre Caldwell competing for snaps on the outside. Caldwell had his moments last season, but we believe that Latimer will eventually see a significant role if Welker is out for any length of time. We'll have more as this situation develops, but if you're drafting this weekend, avoid Welker and target Latimer in the later rounds. Caldwell is also a deep sleeper at this point.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 8:49pm
Broncos WR Andre Caldwell came up with some of the offense's best plays of the day, winning multiple times in 1-on-1 drills, including up the sideline for a long touchdown. He also grabbed a few passes for big gains in team drills, most notably a 20-plus yarder in the 2-minute drill.
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