Denver Broncos: Royce Freeman pick has deep roots

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 02: Royce Freeman
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 02: Royce Freeman /

The Denver Broncos picked Royce Freeman in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. This was a pick with deep roots for the scouting department…

The Denver Broncos selected Oregon Ducks running back Royce Freeman with the 71st overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, a class filled with top flight talent at the running back position.

John Elway said at the team’s pre-draft press conference that he felt the team would be able to get a good running back in this class, and that is exactly what he accomplished with this selection.

Freeman is the Ducks’ all-time leading rusher, and amassed a ridiculous 60 rushing touchdowns in his time in Eugene.

Rewind nearly eight months ago, though, and you’ll find that this pick has some deep roots for the Broncos’ scouting department.

Though the major area of focus in this game was Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, the Broncos sent a contingent to Laramie, Wyoming to watch the Cowboys and the Oregon Ducks duke it out.

There were a whopping 16 NFL teams credentialed for this game, and it’s highly likely NFL teams wanted to see Josh Allen perform well against a top flight Power Five school.

What they got instead was a dominant performance by Oregon’s star running back.

Freeman stole the show in this game, grinding out tough yardage and breaking off big runs, showing his vision and patience as a runner.

Freeman also shows some of what he can do in the screen game here, catching a pass out of the backfield and breaking off a 50-yard play.

It’s likely the Broncos have had scouts attend more Oregon games than just this one, but you can’t help but think this game factored in at least a little bit. The Broncos went to see one player shine under the spotlight, and another player stole it.

That player is now a member of the team, and a player John Elway told personally that he wanted to be the team’s ‘bell cow’.

Let’s see now if Freeman can live up to the billing.