After breaking down those areas we consider “need” areas, I would like to go into more of a breakdown coming into the draft in the positions we are “set.” Mike Shanahan has never been known to leave any area alone if he feels a good player or a need is there. The last part of the Extra Credit Series will look at areas on our roster we could improve and the guys we can possibly bring in to help that. Onto the piece.
This is a position that will shake up some controversy here. Do we stay with who we have? Do we draft? What do we do? I have my opinions and then there is things that are almost certain. Lets see:
~Travis Henry is a bruiser back, not built for speed
~Selvin Young isn’t a 40 carry per game back
~Andre Hall isn’t a 40 carry per game back
~Cecil Sapp is more of a blocking runner who can get short yardage
~Are the Broncos a run by committee type of team for good?
~The rest of our guys are special teams/ practice squad/ camp fodder
Travis Henry was brought in to be a workhorse running back. He is in no way a speed demon but has decent vision and agility to pound the defense with the run. With Henry taking the majority of the carries it opens our game up for big plays from the backfield and on the fly.
Selvin Young and Andre Hall both provide what a Bruiser like Henry cannot, Speed. These two are outside out of your mid runners who are built to get the 15-20 yard runs after Bruisers run for 5-6-7 yards. The problem with these types is they are not built to last. They needs to be what has become known as a “Spell” halfback (gives your main threat a breather).
Cecil Sapp isn’t a true fullback but he is the best we have and can pound for 1 or 2 yards here and there. He also is a decent blocker. His willingness to take on the role of fullback reminds me of Mike Anderson’s team first attitude when it came to the position.
For the moment the broncos look to be a “Run by Committee” team. The problem in that system is that you know what each guy is out there to do. With every other guy at this position just being practice squad/ camp fodder, Denver needs to look for a guy who can be a bruiser and have game speed. I would advocate cloning Terrell Davis but that won’t happen any time soon so on to the Draft…
A 4.37 from a 225-pound running back?. His bench and vertical numbers weren't bad either. Lots of potential here. Mendenhall, who has both size and power is averaging seven yards per carry through four games in 2007. Mendenhall trampled Indiana for 214 yards on 27 rushes. Guru advocated for him at one point and then I looked into him. What a beast. Not AD or TD or LT but a good back who can bruise and run with some speed come game time. Could be an excellent addition immediately. First rounder and will be lucky if he is on the board come pick twenty.
A low 4.20’s 40 time? WOW! The question most people ask is if he can play football, heck I’ll side with Guru on him being a return man! Lets do this thing. Played a little smaller ball than most of us would want from a running back but then again Sharpe came from Savannah St. so it could work out. Second round would be his spot.
Most people still have this cover boy going in the 4th and 5th round but I think hell go third at the latest. He didn’t have a crazy combine but that’s because he is a game back not a test back. Look at any Michigan game the last three years, the boy was crazy good.
The other backs available this year at Walter & Co.: