Denver Broncos: Running back room predictions for 2021
1. Melvin Gordon
In his first year with the Denver Broncos, Melvin Gordon rushed for 986 yards and 9 touchdowns, while hauling in 32 receptions for 158 yards and 1 touchdown.
While some may have expected more from Gordon due to his rich contract, I think he performed admirably. Two of my favorite plays from the 2020 season came from Gordon, his touchdown reception against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and his 4th quarter touchdown run against the New York Jets.
While dealing with possible legal troubles and a floundering offense, Gordon was still able to maintain. Surrounded by youth and injuries across the board, Gordon was the offensive MVP in my opinion. If it wasn’t for Gordon, this offense would have lived in quicksand.
As he has in previous years, Gordon did struggle with fumbles. This is something he has to clean up if this offense wants to be more efficient. In most cases, it seemed Gordon was just extending plays trying to make something happen, but ultimately caused mistakes on his behalf.
What will year two in Pat Shurmur’s scheme bring Melvin Gordon?
In 2020, Melvin Gordon averaged just over 65 rushing yards a game. In 2021, I expect that number to increase with a better, healthier, and more mature offense. Keep in mind there will also be 17 games in 2021, compared to just 16.
Gordon may see around 1,100-1,200 yards rushing in 2021, along with 10 touchdowns. His production through the air should also increase in 2021, projecting 51 receptions totaling around 350 yards and two scores.
When the 2021 season comes to a conclusion, Melvin Gordon will again be an unrestricted free agent. That being the case, I expect the Denver Broncos to get their value out of Gordon this season. Touches will certainly be split somewhat with rookie Javonte Williams, but I expect Gordon to get the lion’s share at the beginning of the season.
It makes the most sense to try and pull production from the guy you’re paying $8 million to. Not only does this bring the most value, but it also keeps tread off of Williams’ tires.