Heading into his third year, Denver Broncos wide receiver Cody Latimer has yet to make much of a mark for the Broncos. I think that's all about to change this season.
Last offseason, Gary Kubiak was excited about Latimer possibly being their No. 3 wide receiver. Unfortunately, Latimer fell off after a strong start in training camp and saw himself passed up by Andre Caldwell and Jordan Norwood by the time the regular season rolled around.
Caldwell is gone now and Norwood didn't exactly set the world on fire. It looked like Latimer would compete with Bennie Fowler this year for that third wide receiver spot, but Fowler went down with an injury early on in camp. Even if Fowler had stayed healthy, after the way Latimer finished last season and strong work this offseason, I think he was still going to end up winning that job.
Latimer has nice size at 6'2, 213 pounds, but the interesting thing is he looks like a smaller guy when he is running routes on the field. That's a good thing, if you didn't already know. He gets in and out of his breaks quickly and has really good game speed. Getting open usually isn't going to be a problem for him.
He also showed off some pretty good hands for the few targets he had last season. Latimer had two diving catches that were particularly impressive, but didn't get many balls thrown his way.
As the No. 3 wide receiver, should he win the job, Latimer will practically be a starter this season, so with the increased targets, I'm expecting a major jump in production. He only has eight catches for his career, so that's not saying a whole lot, but don't be surprised if he has 40+ catches this year. I'm actually probably being conservative so as not to go overboard.
His combination of size and quickness is uncommon, so the Broncos will be able to use him in a variety of roles. He could go in the slot and work the underneath routes, or just as easily line up out wide and not skip a beat. Now that it appears that Latimer understands how to play in Kubiak's system a little better, the sky really is the limit for him in Denver this year.
The one thing that does concern me about whether his production will take off is the Broncos' quarterback situation this year. But Latimer has pretty decent hands, so even Trevor Siemian pulling the trigger shouldn't hold him back too much.
If Cody Latimer can just stay healthy for the whole season, he should finally show why the Broncos selected him in the second round in 2014 in the first place.