With the NFL trade deadline approaching, there has begun a flurry of talk about trades and players on the block prior to the deadline. Now there are actually very few trades around that deadline, but talking about ways to upgrade the Broncos in the short term and the long term is an important discussion to have.
So today I wanted to look at players the Broncos should be shopping and those players the Broncos should be looking to trade for.
Now going into this exercise I asked around the SB Nation writers about the value of the Broncos players that I focused on as well as the value of players I felt the Broncos should look at, so these values aren't made up from nothing, they are based on what other teams writers feel players are worth.
Today I wanted to look at adding a running back.
Who Broncos Should Look For At Running Back:
I went back and watched every run by every back besides Willis McGahee, this is a weak backfield when Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball are on the field, there is a need for an upgrade immediately, especially if McGahee's snaps per game continue to rise.
Proven starter to rotational back is needed. This is a stop gap player, so age isn't an issue. This player would be a player who can play that 3rd down back position all the while taking on 5-15 carries a game.
- Kendall Hunter:
Analysis: Hunter is a traditional rotational back who can run, catch and pass block. He's also very comfortable in that role that he's shared behind Frank Gore for the past two seasons. But with the additional of LaMichael James and the rise of Anthony Dixon who can play FB and RB, Hunter is seen by many as a luxury, but not needed. Talking to some of the Niners writers, they like Hunter, but feel the need for picks to help begin to replace aging positions, trading Hunter is that outlandish.
Price: 3rd round pick
- Pierre Thomas:
Analysis: While Thomas is aging (he's 28 this season) he's still fairly young and doesn't have a lot of wear and tear on his body. With the new running backs added to the Saints in the past two season (Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles), Thomas has seen his carries drop. Thomas is a solid, between the tackles runner who can also catch the ball. Thomas has also been in a time share at running back since he entered the league. He has only topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage once in his career (in comparison Knowshon Moreno has topped it twice in half the time), he's still a reliable back. With the depth at running back in New Orleans, many Saints writers actually felt he would be traded for quite the low price.
Price: 4th rounder that could become a 3rd rounder on conditions of topping 100 carries for the 2012 season.
- Justin Forsett:
Analysis: Forsett is the image of a 3rd down back, he's not going to blow anyone away, but has the ability to do it all, and do it consistently. Houston, like NO, is deep at running back with Arian Foster and Ben Tate, both starter quality backs, and speaking to the writers for the Texans, while they like Forsett, they feel he only comes out for garbage time. Watching Forsett in Seattle I saw a player who behind Julius Jones (2009) and Marshawn Lynch (2010-2011) was one of the best mutli-purpose backs in the league. While he's the least productive of the batch, he'd be the cheapest and is very consistent. Oh did I mention he has extensive experience at both punt and kick returns.
Price: 5th rounder
In the end, I feel all three of these options are more productive than the current stable behind Willis McGahee. While who should be cut is a while other story, if you ask me Lance Ball has outlived his time in Denver and any of these three options are better than all three of the backups. Adding another back doesn't have to hurt Ronnie Hillman for you Hillman fanatics out there.
So that is the first topic I wanted to discuss and I'll be publishing new articles throughout the day looking at other positions and players. So what are your thoughts, who should the Broncos trade or what positions should the Broncos be looking at upgrading.