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General manager George Paton on Broncos WRs: 'They have to be better'

Featuring Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick, the Denver Broncos' wide receiver corps is brimming with potential.

Problem is the potential's been there for quite some time, and it's yet to be fulfilled on a consistent basis.

Broncos general manager George Paton wants to see that change -- quickly. 

"They all need to play better and they want to be great," Paton told The Denver Post. "They're all really talented. We need to be better around them. We need to get the best out of them. You can't point to one thing -- you can't point to the quarterback (or) the scheme. They have to be better and they know that. But they're hungry and they're prideful."

Injuries and uneven quarterback play have no doubt hobbled the Broncos wideouts at times. Nonetheless, the end results are what they are, and they've largely come up short of expectations.

Jeudy is entering the third season of his rookie contract, while Patrick and Sutton locked up extensions last year. They are integral parts of the Denver roster and crucial in the team's aspirations of improving on a 7-10 record last year. The Broncos lost five of their last six games in 2021 and four straight to stymie their playoff hopes. In Denver's dark times, the trio of wideouts combined for just 41 catches in those six games for 541 yards and only one score.

A torn ACL sidelined Sutton for most of the 2020 season. His 2021 return saw him post 776 yards and two touchdowns on 58 catches in 17 games. Perhaps it was a step in the right direction coming back from such a serious injury, but it was still a good distance removed from his 2019 Pro Bowl showing.

A 2020 first-round pick, Jeudy, following a solid but unspectacular rookie season, missed seven games in 2021 because of an ankle injury. He tallied 38 receptions for 467 yards and an eyebrow-raising zero touchdowns.

Patrick is the overachiever of the squad. An undrafted free agent, the 28-year-old emerged in 2020 when Sutton was injured. He's posted back-to-back seasons with 700 receiving yards and has scored 11 combined touchdowns in that span.

All three have flashed, but have yet to step up into that elite level and become consistently stellar producers.

Jeudy and Sutton have battled injuries. All three have had Jeff Driskel, Brett Rypien, Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater as starting QBs in just the last two seasons.

Now a fresh start awaits with an offensive-minded head coach in Nathaniel Hackett at the helm.

Just who will be the Broncos' 2022 starting quarterback will be one of the prevailing offseason storylines, but the talent is there at receiver. And it has been, but the production needs to follow.

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