Now through the end of August, we will continue our 90-in-90 player series. If you missed the previous player breakdowns, you can check them out here.
Name: C.J. Anderson
Height: 5'8" Weight: 224
Age: 24 Experience: 4
The Denver Broncos have been one of the best franchises in the NFL at unearthing undrafted free agent gems. Running back C.J. Anderson is no exception and is poised for a breakout season in 2016.
Anderson is entering his fourth season in the NFL and to date has rushed the ball for 1,607 yards on 338 carries with a 4.8 yard per carry average and 13 touchdowns. He has also demonstrated his value as a receiver, notching 59 receptions for 507 yards and two scores in 35 regular season games.
The Broncos want to see more out of Anderson this year and showed their confidence in his abilities when they matched the generous offer given to him by the Miami Dolphins for roughly $16 million dollars over the course of four years. In reality, it is essentially a two-year deal that the Broncos can opt out of and cut him for little to no dead money if he fails to live up to expectations.
Anderson is hungrier than ever and is ready to show his coaches, teammates and the rest of the league that he can be one of the best running backs in the NFL. He has lofty goals for himself this season and believes he has what it takes to be a top three rusher in the NFL.
However, Anderson will have some competition for carries in 2016. The team drafted versatile running back Devontae Booker, who has looked tremendous in camp thus far. Ronnie Hillman and Kapri Bibbs also have a chance at making the roster and one of them should have a role as a back-up on the team. If Anderson wants to reach his goals, he will have to stay in tip-top shape and avoid the nagging injuries that have plagued him over the course of his young career.
The Good: Powerful runner with exceptional vision. Possesses extraordinary balance and a low center of gravity which makes him hard to bring down. Penchant for breaking tackles. Has demonstrated the ability to make big time plays in at crucial moments. Doesn't fumble or turnover the ball too often. Has the ability to be one of the top backs in the NFL.
The Bad: Lacks top-end speed and the second gear to blow by defenders in the secondary. Didn't perform as well last season in comparison to his sophomore campaign in the NFL and was not the team's most productive running back in 2015. Conditioning has been an issue for Anderson in his career, but is reported to be in the best shape of his career thus far. Has never played a full regular season and has been hindered with nagging injuries.
Quotable: "Last year, I got some advice from other starters around the league. That advice wasn’t what best worked for me. I just can’t breeze through preseason; I have to attack it like I’m playing a real game. I learned last year that trying ease through it just wasn’t the best advice for C.J. Anderson, and this year C.J. Anderson is going to take preseason like it’s week one against Carolina." — Anderson on the lessons he learned last season
Status: Anderson will enter the 2016 campaign as the top back on the Broncos roster, but will face competition for carries if Booker continues to emerge and the other backs on the roster perform well throughout the rest of camp and the preseason.
Nevertheless, Anderson has all the ability in the world to take care of business and cement himself has one of the NFL's leading rushers this season. With an ambiguous quarterback situation, I expect a heavy dose of the rushing attack this year which should be beneficial for Anderson to reach his ultimate goal.