Oct 13, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball (28) catches a pass in the third quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Jaguars 35-19. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Broncos’ running back position isn’t exactly a hodge podge in 2014, but it’s certainly a young, unproven group of guys. And there’s not a ton of clarity behind who the Broncos expect to be the lead ball carrier, second year back Montee Ball.
Coming out of Wisconsin, I was really high on Ball. He stayed for his senior season, but to be honest he probably didn’t have to after putting together a junior season where he had 40 total touchdowns and looked like he could not be stopped. When Ball was picked by the Broncos, it was clear they were planning on life without Knowshon Moreno, who is now with the Miami Dolphins.
Moreno had a great season in 2013 with the Broncos, his best as a professional. He racked up over 1,000 yards, 50 catches, and proved he was the best pass protecting running back on the team.
Ball will have big shoes to fill, but I think he can be even better than Moreno a year ago. Here are my bold predictions for the running back position this year, as well as the bold predictions of the staff here at Predominantly Orange.
Chad Jensen – I predict that Montee Ball will see 75% of the RB touches in 2014. And that with those touches, he will average around 5 YPC and crack 1,200 yards rushing, with close to 15 TDs on the ground. One more bold prediction. Ronnie Hillman will be his primary backup.
Khalid Alshami – Ronnie Hillman not only wins the number 2 RB job, but has a huge year with 1,100 all purpose yards and 8 TDs. Eat your heart out. CJ Anderson ends up cut during preseason
Matty Petrero – The Broncos will incorporate the running game more frequently in an effort to balance the attack. As such, Montee Ball will have the best season for a RB in Denver since the Shanahan era. I predict Ball goes for 1200+ yards and 8+ rushing TD’s. (Wishful thinking).
Erick Trickel – Ronnie Hillman fails to make the roster after a dismal preseason, getting beat out by Kapri Bibbs and Brennan Clay. Clay goes on to win the #2 RB job,ends the season with 500 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards and over 10 total touchdowns, with Montee Ball rushing for over 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Amy Richau – Kapri Bibbs will not only make the roster, he will get more and more playing time as the season progresses as a valuable #2 RB behind Montee Ball. Ball will end up with more TDs than Knowshon had last season.
Sayre Bedinger – I think first of all, Montee Ball will rush for 1,500 yards and have 10 or more TDs. I also think he’ll catch 4o passes. He will be one of the NFL’s top breakout players. I will also make the bold prediction that the Broncos carry just three running backs to the 53-man roster. With the state of their depth at other positions and the value RBs have in this offense, they can carry a capable fourth back on the practice squad.
Tell us what YOU think, Broncos Country! What are your bold predictions for the running back position this season?