The Hall of Fame Game is now critical for the Denver Broncos’ young stable of running backs. Which players will step up after the Theo Riddick move?
The Hall of Fame Game got a lot more interesting from a roster competition perspective when the Denver Broncos reportedly agreed to a deal (or will eventually sign) veteran running back Theo Riddick.
That signing is an exciting one for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is that Theo Riddick, over the last five years, has arguably been the best pass catching back in the NFL. Everyone knows him for his receiving prowess, but not many understand just how effective Riddick is in space.
Kudos to Jeffrey Essary for pointing this out on Twitter, but the signing of Riddick in conjunction with this comment by new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello makes this signing all the more intriguing.
That’s a great connection by our pal Jeffrey, and it’s even better when you consider that Riddick had the sixth best elusiveness rating (missed tackles forced per touch) back in 2017 for the Lions.
The Broncos are obviously hoping Riddick can return to that form after his usage took a dip in 2018.
Considering the nature of this signing — Riddick is a veteran player with a proven track record, not a camp body — who is going to be the odd one out at the running back spot for the Broncos? Will it be anyone right away?
Shelby Manning pointed out that Riddick’s skill set is almost exactly the same as Devontae Booker’s, but Riddick has been able to make guys miss more often throughout his career.
Because of the impending move to get Riddick in the fold, the current stable of backs in Denver must get their you-know-what together and put their best foot forward against the Falcons in the Hall of Fame Game.
Besides Booker, which backs are going to be in focus against the Falcons? All of them. Let’s take a look at the group and how they’ve been performing throughout camp so far.
The Broncos signed Muhammad to their practice squad late last year, and he has brought an element of speed to the offense throughout training camp both in the running game and in space as a receiver.
Muhammad’s speed is a trait the Broncos simply don’t have in spades offensively. Even Theo Riddick, who can make guys miss, is not known for speed despite being 5-foot-8.
Muhammad’s speed is up there with Phillip Lindsay’s and he’s one of the only guys on offense who has that trait, which as we know, you can’t teach.
The Broncos got Jackson as an undrafted free agent out of West Georgia in 2019, and he’s been turning some heads in training camp.
Although it’s really tough to judge backs at camp because it’s not ‘full’ contact, he’s been out making plays as a receiver and showing off his quickness and burst when the Broncos run outside zone.
The Broncos actually drafted David Williams in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and he signed to the practice squad when rosters were cut down to 53, but the Jaguars poached him and he spent last season down south.
Denver brought him back and Williams can do a number of things for your offense, including pass block, catch passes, and run between the tackles with power.