Broncos: 5 options to fill Phillip Lindsay’s shoes in 2021

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft prospect Najee Harris. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft prospect Najee Harris. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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Denver Broncos, Mike Boone
Denver Broncos 2021 offseason – Mike Booner. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Mike Boone

The top candidate to “replace” Phillip Lindsay at the present moment is obviously the guy the Denver Broncos just signed in free agency, Mike Boone.

When it came across the newsdesk, many fans were wondering the same thing — who the heck is Mike Boone?

A fair question when you don’t necessarily recognize the name of a player being signed in the first week of free agency, I’d say.

Boone had made a name for himself in Minnesota with the Vikings’ special teams unit, but he had also taken advantage of his opportunities as a running back. He averaged 5.3 yards per rushing attempt on 71 career carries and had a 148-yard game in a 2019 Week 17 start against the Chicago Bears.

Boone is a freakish athlete whose background as a wide receiver could come in handy if he’s given an opportunity to contribute on third downs. You have to wonder why, of all the players George Paton could have brought over from Minnesota, this was the guy he went after first.

The Broncos’ front office and coaching staff obviously agreed with Paton on this one and they signed him to a two-year deal to compete for Melvin Gordon’s backup job.

Bonus: Royce Freeman

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the former third-round pick as at least a candidate to replace Phillip Lindsay’s snaps in the Denver offense, but the jury is still out.

Although Freeman has been a solid contributor, he has not been as explosive as he showed early in his rookie campaign back in 2018 nor has he broken as many tackles.

In his rookie season, he broke 16 tackles on 130 rushing attempts and averaged 2.5 yards after initial contact. On 132 carries in 2019, he broke just eight tackles and averaged 1.9 yards after contact per attempt.

In 2020, his most limited year yet, he had two broken tackles on 35 carries.

Freeman needs to regain his 2018 form if he’s even going to make the team.