Denver Broncos: Revisiting Draft Choice Royce Freeman

Denver Broncos (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

As the regular season approaches, we wanted to take an individual look at each of the Denver Broncos 2017 Draft Choices and how they’ve performed in camp.

With the 71st pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected Oregon back Royce Freeman. How has Freeman performed in preseason and camp?

Well enough that he should be the starting back in the season opener versus the Seattle Seahawks.  Like Sutton, Royce was well-received prior to the draft but had questions surrounding next-level speed.  Also like Sutton, Freeman has erased any concern over his outside and breakaway speed, demonstrating both on his team-leading three preseason touchdown runs.  He’s been strong and mostly decisive (back-to-back losses against the Redskins notwithstanding).

Broncos coach Vance Joseph declared this week that Devontae Booker was still the top back on the depth chart, leading the “fire Joseph now” crowd into Twitter fits.  The declaration is just as likely a ploy to bolster trade value or a final push to see what Booker can produce than it is an actual assessment of performance as Freeman has been clearly superior.  We should reserve our ire for opening day.

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos /

Denver Broncos

With the power of Freeman balanced by the scat-back style of De’angelo Henderson and Philip Lindsay, Denver has options, depth and security at the position that they haven’t had in years.

Stability and improved play on the offensive line will improve Denver’s running attack greatly but the addition of Freeman takes it to another level.  More than just a placeholder, project or “good enough” player, Freeman has the opportunity to be a top-producing, featured back.

Draft mates Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton and free-agent Case Keenum, coupled with Freeman will improve a Broncos attack that faces a comparatively weak schedule this season.  Look for Denver to flirt with a top-10 offensive unit this season.

Freeman will be an important cog in that improvement.

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