The day earlier than the Denver Broncos’ Week 12 matchup with the New Orleans Saints, all three quarterbacks on the roster had been dominated ineligible after they had been deemed to be a high-risk shut contact to quarterback Jeff Driskel, who was positioned on the reserve/COVID record attributable to a optimistic check.
The Broncos are actually scrambling and practice-squad WR Kendall Hinton may be the reply. If you cannot keep in mind ever seeing Hinton drop again to throw a cross — at any stage — do not beat your self up. It is in all probability since you’re not a die-hard ACC soccer fan. The previous Wake Forest participant was a large receiver in 2019, however performed at quarterback the 4 seasons prior.
So who’s Hinton and what is going to he carry to the place? Throughout his collegiate profession at Wake Forest, Hinton appeared in 22 video games over 4 seasons. Hinton took most of his collegiate quarterback reps throughout his freshman season in 2015. He accomplished 93 of 177 makes an attempt for 929 yards, 4 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. On the floor, these numbers are nice for a freshman, however issues did get dicey. Hinton’s 52.5 p.c completion price and 5.2 yards per try common had been critical crimson flags.
Hinton would in the end redshirt throughout his sophomore season. He went on to try simply 74 extra passes throughout his complete collegiate profession at Wake (going 40 of 74 with 4 touchdowns and two interceptions). If he’s known as as much as the Broncos’ lively roster for Sunday’s recreation, and if he takes snaps at quarterback (or receiver, or wildcat quarterback) Hinton will document the primary stats of his NFL profession.
Throughout his remaining season at Wake Forest Hinton began to show heads solely after his transition to broad receiver, the place he completed with 73 receptions for 1,001 yards and 4 touchdowns. He averaged over 13.7 yards per reception and operated as a risk after the catch within the open subject.
Hinton was additionally a star quarterback in the highschool ranks. CBS Sports activities’ Chip Patterson has extra on Hinton’s journey:
Hinton’s school profession was outlined by resilience. A star quarterback in highschool at Southern Durham, Hinton’s arrival was met with pleasure from these across the Demon Deacons’ program. Hinton led his workforce to the state championship as a junior and had a 13-1 document as a senior, and when he obtained the chance to start out in opposition to Indiana as a freshman in 2015 he set the college document for probably the most passing yards in a primary profession begin. All of that momentum stalled when he suffered a knee harm in early 2016 and John Wolford took maintain of the beginning quarterback job. Hinton adjusted, made the transition to broad receiver through the 2018 season and completed his school profession as one of many high cross catchers on a top-three ACC offense. He is been capable of make these sorts of changes on the fly earlier than and discover methods to succeed, so he is a superb choose to attempt to do it once more for the Broncos.
Hinton’s addition might permit for some attention-grabbing wrinkles from the Broncos from an offensive standpoint. Though it is apparent that the sport plan should be simplified, Hinton’s capacity to create yardage in open area together with his legs can permit the Broncos to dip into an space of his offensive system he could not have felt snug utilizing with starter Drew Lock. Shurmur also can use — and we anticipate him to lean on — the zone-read choice run recreation with Hinton and a mixture of Melvin Gordon and Philip Lindsay.
Whereas they’ve some similarities, the zone-read choice run recreation is totally different from the wildcat offense that grew to become widespread within the NFL just a few years in the past. The zone-read offense additionally works nicely in unison with the within zone blocking scheme the Broncos typically leans on within the run recreation, so this could possibly be a strong match from a schematic standpoint.
When a receiver hybrid makes his method to the quarterback place, it is smart to anticipate just a few trick performs from the offense, however it will be stunning if Denver calls any this week. Trick performs require repetition in apply and Hinton has had none of that together with his Broncos teammates — at the least not from the quarterback place.
On the flip aspect, it will be glorious to see the Broncos give Hinton a chance to run some RPO (run cross choice) performs from the QB place. An effective way to maximise Hinton’s athleticism and instruments can be to run a mixture of RPOs, zone-read choice performs, and designed bootlegs to get Hinton out in area with an choice to run or cross.
Additionally, do not be shocked if the Broncos give some snaps to their emergency quarterback — reserve operating again Royce Freeman. Freeman’s final cross try was a 26-yard completion to Raiders reserve QB Marcus Mariota again in 2014 when the 2 had been nonetheless at Oregon.
It is going to be a wacky and wild recreation Sunday between the Broncos and Saints and we will not wait to see what sort of wrinkles Denver rolls out on the offensive aspect of the ball.