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Broncos drafts KJ Hamler with No. 46 pick

KJ Hamler goes to the Denver Broncos with the No. 46 pick in the 2020 draft. Will he be a fantasy football asset to start his career?

KJ Hamler #1 of the Penn State Nittany Lions carries the ball against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the second half at Beaver Stadium on November 30, 2019 in State College, Pennsylvania. Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Broncos go and get yet another receiver, as they grab K.J. Hamler with their 46th overall pick. Hamler should quickly fit into the offense at slot with Henry Ruggs and Courtland Sutton on the outside, giving quarterback Drew Lock a great set of pass catchers.

Hamler started all 13 games as a sophomore at Penn State, collecting 56 receptions for 904 yards, and eight touchdowns while fielding 24 kick returns for 513 yards, (21.4 average) and 23 punt returns for 126 yards.

Scouting Report

At 5’9” 178 pounds, Hamler isn’t going to out-muscled defenders for the ball, but his route running and speed frees him up and makes him a big-play man from the slot. And he’ll likely need to stay in the slot, as his size and ability to take on man coverage on the outside isn’t where it needs to be. With time, he might be able to move outside, but it will take work.

Fantasy football impact

Rookie

Hamler is a strong route runner with good speed and should fit into the slot position early in his rookie season. The trouble for his fantasy value is that he’ll be behind Ruggs and Sutton and maybe Noah Fant as well. The group looks great, but getting them all fantasy production will be impossible.

Long-term

Hamler is still young and could fill out his frame and add strength to his game to keep him on the field, but even if he works out of the slot his whole career, he has good upside, as he is a play maker. Is he T.Y. Hilton or Tavon Austin? I think more Hilton than Austin, but the jury is still out.