The Denver Broncos have taken a liking to Arizona State prospects since John Elway took charge of the front office. In one fell swoop (2012 NFL Draft) he brought in former Sun Devils Brock Osweiler (quarterback), Omar Bolden (defensive back), and Gerrell Robinson (receiver/tight end).
The Broncos have obviously kept an interest in the ASU football program, and for good reason. They have some of the top prospects available in the 2014 NFL Draft including defensive tackle Will Sutton, linebacker Carl Bradford, and running back Marion Grice.
Grice suffered a leg injury in late November last season, and worked out for scouts at a pro day recently and the Broncos were among 10 teams in attendance.
After losing Knowshon Moreno to the Miami Dolphins, the Broncos are in the market for a very specific back with a specific set of skills. Montee Ball will presumably carry a majority of the load for the Broncos at the running back position, but losing Moreno took away the Broncos’ most versatile (arguably) offensive weapon.
Moreno ran for over 1,000 yards, is a fantastic receiver, and can pick up blitzes. He wasn’t the fastest back but he got the job done by being able to do a lot of things well.
That is precisely what Grice brings to the table. Right now, he’s projected a 6th-7th round pick, but that’s mainly because of his injury. There was a time during the season when Grice was generating some 2nd round hype, and having scouted him I think it was warranted.
He’s not a burner by any means but Grice has a very well-rounded skill set and you could see it early on in his career. He’s a former junior college transfer who came to Arizona State and put up huge touchdown numbers right from the start. Here is my scouting report on Grice from prior to the 2013 season:
“Grice has excellent burst, and acceleration out of his cuts. He has good cutback vision and can take it to the second and third level in the blink of an eye. Has an incredible ability to make defenders miss, and has a nose for the end zone. This is a player I like more and more the more I watch him. He has that killer instinct as a runner, and is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. Big play threat who is just tapping into his enormous potential. He looks like he could have second or third round ability at this point.”