Saturday Morning Quarterback: The Broncos Need Fresh Legs in the Backfield
By Todd Baker
Jan 3, 2013; Fort Lauderdale FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back Eddie Lacy (42) during a press conference for the 2013 BCS National Championship game at Harbor Beach Marriott Resort
The Denver Broncos have had one very exciting off season and the draft is still weeks away! John Elway and company truly came out out of the gates in a signing frenzy. While they also had to suffer through the Elvis Dumervil debacle, no one can say that the organization wasn’t active. For better or worse, the team has continued to reinforce it’s commitment to winning a championship.
In this very column last week, defense was the topic. Despite the loss of DOOM from the Broncos top five ranked defense, the team’s recent additions and current players still make this an elite squad. On the offensive side of the ball, Bronco fans should be even more excited. Denver managed to add two of the best players at their respective positions in Louis Vasquez and Wes Welker. It also doesn’t hurt that Ryan Clady is back to protect the engine that makes the whole thing go!
Vegas seems to agree that this is one of, if not the team to beat come February 2, 2014. Are we being too optimistic? What exactly are the Broncos missing? I would contend that the only really pressing need that remains is at the running back position.
Now, Peyton Manning has never needed an elite back. He definitely needs one that can block and one with a set of hands. That is truly about it. Edgerrin James and Joseph Addai hardly qualify as elite but they got the job done in a Peyton Manning lead offense. So, the question is how much better would a Peyton Manning lead offense be with a monster in the back field?
Enter, Eddie Lacy. For all the mock drafts and the Manti Te’o talk, the Broncos still have a gaping whole in their backfield. It appears that the current free agent crop is not exciting anyone in the front office, nor should it. Lacy should be there at the 28th pick to fill that void. Bronco fans know they have a gutty, change of pace player in Ronnie Hillman and they certainly have a veteran tutor in Willis McGahee but they need a force pounding away at the line of scrimmage.
The problem is that a hamstring injury left Lacy unable to participate in the NFL combine last month. He also missed Alabama’s pro day on March 24. However, Lacy has announced that he wil be able to work out for NFL scouts on next Thursday, April 11. Mark your calendars. The concern is his straight ahead speed and if he can log a 40 time in the 4.4-4.6 range he’s going to go in the first round. This writer definitely wants to see him work out just to be sure… but also hopes he turns out to be the 28th pick!
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