Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph was left impressed by the performance of rookie wide receivers Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton after the start of week three of OTAs.
With veterans Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders away dealing with what Joseph called “personal matters”, the young duo made the most of their chances to run with the first-team unit.
“So far so good with those two guys,” Joseph said. “[Sutton] and [Hamilton] are very mature football players.
“Obviously [Thomas and Sanders] missed [practice], they pushed up to the first team and we didn’t miss a beat. That’s what you want. You want guys in each room who can play as a starter. I was very pleased with those two guys today.”
Lauded for his polished route running, Hamilton could see plenty of work in Bill Musgrave’s offense during his rookie season, and starting quarterback Case Keenum made sure the former Penn State wide receiver saw plenty of action on Monday.
In the latest round-up from his OTA Observations series, BSN Denver’s Zac Stevens noted that Hamilton “was clearly Case’s favorite target all over the field. While he did have a drop on the day, that didn’t stop the veteran quarterback looking his way early and often.”
When asked another question about the rookies later in his press conference, Joseph reiterated he was impressed with Sutton, Hamilton, and 2017 fifth-round pick Isaiah McKenzie.
“That’s what you want from your backup players,” Joseph added. “If someone’s not here today, they step in and play and we don’t miss a beat, so I was very impressed with those three guys, including Isaiah McKenzie, who played slot today.”
With Sutton and Hamilton locks to make the 53-man roster alongside Thomas and Sanders, McKenzie faces a battle after an error-strewn, rookie season as the primary punt returner.
The Broncos will have an open competition for that role on special teams with cornerback Brendan Langley, wide receiver Jordan Taylor, rookie running back Phillip Lindsay, and Hamilton all in the mix.