Last season, the Denver Broncos experienced a lot of changeover at running back thanks to a number of injuries. We take a look at the position and evaluate the options heading into the 2017 season.
The Broncos’ 2016-17 campaign was underwhelming to say the least. While there were certain expectations for the team coming off a Super Bowl 50 victory, many knew a let down was possible.
The whole off-season consisted of questions circling around the quarterback situation. Would it be the seventh round draft pick in 2015, Trevor Siemian, or the 26th pick in the draft in which the Broncos traded up to get, Paxton Lynch? With both options at quarterback being very young and inexperienced, it was up to the veterans on offense to help guide the diaper dandies.
In recent years, one of the mainstays for the Broncos’ offense has been running back C.J. Anderson. C.J. is a crucial component to the success of the Broncos offense, and once he went down with what was later diagnosed as a torn meniscus in a Monday Night match up against the Houston Texans, this was even more apparent.
Enter rookie running back Devontae Booker. Many were high on Booker coming out of Utah, and when he landed in Denver’s lap in the fourth round, it was considered a steal. When C.J. Anderson went down, the hopes were that Booker would be able to step right in and secure continuity in the offense, but that was not the case. Rushing for an average of 3.5 yards per carry, Booker totaled four rushing touchdowns to go along with four fumbles. There was also a dramatic drop in pass protection, something that C.J. Anderson prides himself on.
Now let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Broncos’ offensive line was suspect at best this past season. Plug in any running back behind that o-line, and they will struggle.
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Who knows how C.J. will recover after tearing his meniscus? Who knows if Devontae Booker will take a step forward as he moves on to his sophomore season. Nothing is guaranteed, and the Broncos could look to address/upgrade the running back position this off-season.
Let’s first take a look at the options in free agency.