5 running backs the Broncos could target with Latavius Murray to Bills
The Denver Broncos passed on running backs in the 2023 NFL Draft. Of course, they only had five picks to work with, but outside of a couple of intriguing undrafted rookies, the Denver Broncos have a relatively uncertain depth chart heading into 2023 OTAs at this position. Now, the possibilities in free agency have slightly dwindled with free agent Latavius Murray signing a one-year deal to join the powerhouse Buffalo Bills.
Murray has been a bit of an ageless wonder at the running back position, a rarity in the NFL where backs typically have one of the shortest shelf lives of any position in the league. Murray did outstanding work for the Denver Broncos last season, coming to the Mile High City after shuttling up and down the Saints' practice squad. He racked up over 700 yards and five touchdowns on the ground for the Broncos, and most importantly, helped them stop fumbling the ball.
The Broncos were desperate for some help last season at the position after Javonte Williams went down with an injury and Melvin Gordon really struggled. Murray deserves his kudos and we wish him well as he heads to Buffalo. But his departure to Buffalo comes at least as a slight surprise. Murray was a likely candidate to return to Denver given Williams' current recovery and given his connections to Sean Payton. Now that he's no longer an option, and now that the NFL Draft has come and gone without the Broncos selecting a running back, what options are out there in free agency?
Denver Broncos free agent RB targets after Latavius Murray signs with Bills
1. Ezekiel Elliott
I've said it before, but I will say it again. We know that Sean Payton wants to place a heavy emphasis on running the ball this season. We already saw the Broncos bring in a veteran in Samaje Perine, and the team understandably has a vision for him given the general lack of involvement he's had in his first handful of years in the NFL, at least relatively speaking.
Perine has not taken on the typical workload you see from prominent 28-year-old running backs, but Ezekiel Elliott has been on the opposite end of that spectrum. The Cowboys ran the former first-round pick into the ground and for good reason. Elliott was once one of the most dynamic three-down backs in the league. Although his effectiveness on a per-snap basis is not what it was when he was a younger player, Elliott had over 2,200 total yards from scrimmage the last two seasons combined with 24 total touchdowns on 532 touches with just one fumble.
I will take that kind of effectiveness any day in a rotation.