C.J. Anderson was the lead back for the Denver Broncos until he was released this offseason and moved on to the Carolina Panthers. Last season, he ran for 1,007 yards on 245 carries (4.1 yards/att.) and just three touchdowns during a miserable season
After Anderson, there was a major drop off in production. The running back that had the second-most yards? Devontae Booker, with 299 on 79 carries. That’s a difference of 708 yards and 166 carries. Clearly, Anderson was the bell cow.
You also had Jamaal Charles, who came over to the Broncos from the Kansas City Chiefs. His 2017 totals were similar to Booker’s: 69 rushes for 296 yards.
Booker and Charles each had one touchdown during the entire season.
The Forgotten Man: De’Angelo Henderson. Henderson did not see much action during his rookie season. He finished the year with seven carries for 13 yards.
With the departure of Anderson, Henderson has a chance to prove to the Broncos that he can be a reliable runner. However, the presence of Booker, as well as the three rookie running backs — Royce Freeman, Phillip Lindsay, and David Williams — makes the hill much steeper to climb.
Overall, the running back position is one that I would keep my eyes on as time progresses. Sure, the Broncos lost a 1,000-yard rusher in Anderson, but it will be good to see the team use a committee approach at the position.
They may even discover a gem during training camp. If anything, I believe Freeman will get a ton of carries as a rookie.