Preseason Player Analysis
What You Need to Know:
- Hamler caught 30 of 56 targets for 381 yards and 3 scores in 13 games as a rookie last year.
- He ranked 92nd among WRs in PPR points per game and 86th in non-PPR.
- Among 84 WRs with 50+ targets last season, Hamler ranked 76th in yards per route run and 83rd in Pro Football Focus receiving grade.
- Hamler dropped 18.9% of his catchable targets -- dead last among those 84 WRs.
- He missed 3 games last year: Week 1 with a hamstring injury, Week 6 with another hamstring and Week 17 with a concussion.
- He also tore his ACL as a high school senior and missed last year’s Combine with a hamstring injury.
- The injuries are an even bigger concern considering Hamler is just 5’11 and 178 pounds.
- He had 2 productive seasons at Penn State, leading the team in catches (42) and receiving yards (754) as a redshirt freshman and leading in all major receiving categories with a 56-904-8 line the following year.
- He averaged 16.9 yards per catch over those 2 seasons. And, while we never got a 40 time on him, Hamler has elite speed.
- He faces stiff target competition in 2021. Courtland Sutton is on track to return by Week 1 after missing all but 31 snaps last season with a torn ACL and MCL. WR Jerry Jeudy figures to remain ahead of Hamler in the pecking order after garnering 113 targets as a rookie last year. And TE Noah Fant is still on the ascent heading into year 3.
- Hamler figures to battle Tim Patrick for #3 WR duties
- The Broncos traded for QB Teddy Bridgewater in April. He’ll compete with QB Drew Lock for the starting job.
- Bridgewater sports a career 66.5% completion rate and 7.3 yards per attempt average -- much better than Lock’s 59.1% completion rate and 6.6 yards per attempt through 2 seasons.
- Whether Lock takes a significant step forward in 2021 or Bridgewater beats him out, Denver should get better QB play this season than last.
- OC Pat Shurmur returns for his 2nd season with the Broncos in 2021.
- The 2020 Broncos ranked 19th in pass attempts and 20th in pass rate.
- Shurmur has tended to be a pass-leaning play caller, with 9 of his previous 11 NFL offenses finishing top 16 in pass attempts.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line:
Hamler disappointed as a rookie. He missed 3 games with 3 separate injuries, caught just 30 passes and was near the bottom of the league in most efficiency metrics.
He was a nice-looking prospect coming out of Penn State, so we’re not throwing in the towel. But Courtland Sutton, Jerry Judy, Tim Patrick and Noah Fant are serious target competition. And QB play is still a question in Denver.
Monitor Hamler’s progress this summer, but he’s probably not worth a pick in your fantasy draft.