Unit by Unit: Tight ends and wide receivers

Tony Scheffler, a Denver Broncos rookie tight end, came on late and showed why the Broncos invested a second-round pick on him. Meanwhile Rod Smith's numbers plummeted. Read an analysis of the Denver Broncos' tight ends and wide receivers.

TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- Stephen Alexander. Backups -- Tony Scheffler, Chad Mustard, Nate Jackson.

Alexander has been good for the Broncos in the running game, and by the end of the year Scheffler was a good complement in the passing game.

Scheffler, a rookie, came on late and showed why the Broncos invested a second-round pick on him. He runs well and has good hands, but he suffered through confidence problems in midseason, which affected his practice habits and led to him being inactive a few times.

Mustard and Jackson were role players who had good moments in 2006.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Javon Walker, Rod Smith. Backups -- Brandon Marshall, David Kircus, Brian Clark, Quincy Morgan. Injured reserve -- Domenik Hixon.

Walker played well in his first season after suffering an ACL injury in 2005. The team's quarterback issues hurt his final numbers, but he was a big play threat and also reliable on third and short.

Smith, who will be 37 in May, had a tough season. His numbers plummeted, and the Broncos will have to reevaluate his role.

Marshall came on late in the season and looks like a future starter. He has a great size and speed combination and is smart, so he didn't struggle picking up the offense. Broncos will have to reevaluate his role.

Morgan had some moments late in the season as a kickoff returner, but he's a free agent. The Broncos could use some more depth.



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