Running backs the Denver Broncos should not pass on in the Draft
If the Denver Broncos get the chance to draft one of these star running back prospects, they should not pass on the opportunity.
The Denver Broncos traded up in the 2021 NFL Draft to secure Javonte Williams, who will be the team’s RB1 in the 2022 NFL season. Even with Javonte Williams on board, could the Broncos once again go for a running back high in the 2022 NFL Draft?
It shouldn’t be counted out of the plethora of possibilities, considering the Broncos do not pick until 64th overall, right in the middle of day two of the 2022 Draft.
As of now, the team has not re-signed Melvin Gordon. There seems to be a borderline blind faith level of confidence from many in the fan base in 2021 free agent pickup Mike Boone, who touched the ball a grand total of six times in eight games last year.
Boone does have intriguing skills, but should the Broncos pass on some of the top running backs in this year’s draft just because Boone is on the roster? I would highly disagree with that strategy.
The reality is, over the course of a 17-game season (plus playoffs, hopefully), you are going to need multiple backs that can help carry the load. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a “backup” running back touch the ball over 200 times, and if that’s the case, are they really just a backup?
Important context could lead to Denver Broncos prioritizing RB in 2022 Draft
To make the case for a running back with a high selection in 2022 for the Denver Broncos, we need some important context.
First and foremost, the running back position was always a high priority for the Minnesota Vikings when George Paton was with their front office. That was one of the reasons I felt the team could go running back early on in the 2021 NFL Draft, and they did exactly that.
Beyond just the perception that running back was a high priority for Paton and the Vikings, he has personally stated on multiple occasions over the last year-plus that he believes you need two or three backs to have success in the NFL.
By all appearances, this is a philosophy that is shared by Nathaniel Hackett, whose Green Bay Packers had a big-money contract running back in Aaron Jones last year splitting carries with 2020 second-round pick AJ Dillon.
Combined, Jones and Dillon touched the ball 444 times with over 2,300 yards from scrimmage and 17 total touchdowns.
That was with Aaron Rodgers putting forth a second straight MVP campaign, and that’s worth noting because so much of the pushback I’ve gotten for this running back idea has to do with the fact that Russell Wilson is now in Denver, which means the running game won’t be as big of a priority.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
You can look back at Hackett’s offenses with the Buffalo Bills in 2013-14 when the Bills had veteran Fred Jackson and first-round pick CJ Spiller, or his Jacksonville days when the Jaguars had second-round pick TJ Yeldon and top-five pick Leonard Fournette.
I’m not saying that you should take running back at pick 64 to the bank, but I am saying it shouldn’t be discounted from the list of possibilities depending on who is there. Even if you extend that net to pick 75, the Broncos should have a top running back prospect on their radar, and I think they could go with that position sooner than many think.
Here are some players I think the Broncos should take if they are on the board at 64 or 75.