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Jaleel McLaughlin Rising Up the Depth Chart?

By Kevin English | Updated on Mon, 01 Jul 2024, 7:43 AM EDT

After a promising rookie year, Broncos RB Jaleel McLaughlin continued to develop this offseason. Per The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider, “McLaughlin’s offseason program turned heads among coaches, teammates, and onlookers at practice. It would not be a stretch to say he was the Broncos’ most dynamic offensive player during OTAs and minicamp.”

What They're Saying

HC Sean Payton shared McLaughlin’s desire to improve in the passing game. In 2023, the UDFA caught 31 of 36 targets for 160 yards (5.2 YPC) and 2 TDs.

“I know he wants to continue to work on his role in the passing game,” Payton said. “He’ll come up and wear me out asking for [video] cut-ups and looking at certain routes.”

Here’s OC Joe Lombardi:

“Whatever you ask him to do, he’s going to work at it. Obviously, we’re not in pads so you can’t see everything, but just as far as his intention and assignment on pass protection, he has been outstanding. I don’t know if there’s anyone who works harder than him.”

Lombardi concluded with a nod to the RB’s raw ability.

“His speed, his acceleration, his explosiveness has all been impressive this spring.”

2024 Fantasy Football Impact

In May, Payton said training camp will bring an open backfield competition.

Javonte Williams remains the early favorite for touches. But he’ll be pushed by McLaughlin, Samaje Perine, and rookie Audric Estime, who’s recovering from a knee scope. Estime should be ready for training camp.

Last year, the Broncos ranked 25th in pass rate; 17th in rushes per game. A balanced approach should remain, especially with an unsettled QB room.

Dynasty Impact

As of now, Williams and Perine are set for free agency in the fall.

McLaughlin’s frame (5’7, 187 pounds) likely caps the workload ceiling long-term. If he can develop in the passing game, though, there’s room for the 24-year-old to provide PPR value as part of a timeshare.

Kevin English Author Image
Kevin English, Senior Analyst
Kevin brings 15 years of experience as a fantasy analyst and mid-stakes competitor across various formats (redraft, best ball, dynasty, DFS). His work has been featured on The Mercury News, Rotoworld, and FantasyPros.
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