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Denver Broncos Positional Review: Running Backs

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Denver Broncos offseason positional review discussing what the team has based off of 2016 production of players on the team. We'll review stats, eye-test opinion, contract situation, and depth on the Denver Bronco team as we prepare for the start of free agency and the NFL draft.

NFL: Houston Texans at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

I'm breaking down our team to look at what we have in the cupboard for this offseason. In doing so, I've gathered data from nflgsis.com to give us some stats to look at as we evaluate what our players did in the 2016 regular season. Also, overthecap.com contract info will be embedded when available. I'll add to that a synopsis of each player including their contract situation. Hopefully this helps Broncos Country here at MHR be better educated on the state of the team, it’s strengths and weaknesses, and what positions we’ll likely target in free agency and the draft.

In case you missed any of the earlier parts of this series: Special Teams, Safeties, Cornerbacks, Outside Linebackers, Inside Linebackers, Offensive Line, Tight Ends, Wide Receivers.

Stats

Running Back Stats

Player Runs Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Ave TD Snap %
Player Runs Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Ave TD Snap %
Devontae Booker 174 612 3.5 4 31 265 8.5 1 46.0%
C.J. Anderson 110 437 4 4 16 128 8 1 29.1%
Justin Forsett 43 155 3.6 1 7 34 4.9 0 11.0%
Kapri Bibbs 29 129 4.4 0 2 75 37.5 1 8.8%
Andy Janovich 4 33 8.3 1 5 44 8.8 0 21.8%
Juwan Thompson 8 26 3.3 1 0 0 0 0 3.4%
nflgsis.com, footballoutsiders.com

Players

C.J. Anderson

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Contract Info

After getting signed to a very nice contract by the Broncos in 2016, I honestly have to say I’m fairly disappointed in the results we got from Anderson. He didn’t look much better than our rookie, couldn’t shed blockers at the first level, and didn’t really break off big plays to help be the kind of back that deserves the kind of contract extension he got. Yes, the line was garbage. But good backs make their own yards and I didn’t see that happening much last year.

He’s lucky that the Broncos really don’t seem to have any kind of serious competition behind him at RB so it is pretty unlikely the Broncos will let him go. That being said, keep in mind he can be cut with no dead money at any point from this year forward.

Devontae Booker

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Contract Info

Many in Broncos Country had high hopes for Devontae Booker when the Broncos picked him up in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL draft. What Broncos fans saw instead was a rookie learning the ropes. There is some shiny and rough spots in his game, but he’s not shown any signs of being a guy you just plug in and get 4 ypc out of. The good thing here is that the young fella is getting his first offseason of true NFL seasoning. There’s definite hope that his game will improve and he can be a bigger part of a more effective offense in 2017.

Kapri Bibbs

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Contract Info

Everyone love to cheer for an underdog. Make him local and the fanbase is going to cheer even harder for him. Entering into his 4th year in the league, this is make or break time for Bibbs. The encouraging thing is that the play he put on the field last year was arguably some of the best work we saw from the RB corps (take into consideration the small sample size due to injury though).

Bibbs keeps showing the goods here and there...he just needs to put it together and consistently get it done without ending up in the tub.

Andy Janovich

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Contract Info

There is no bigger fan favorite FB in the league than Andy Janovich. He’s a hard nosed tail-kicking fullback who brings the wood on Sundays and has offensive skill to boot. I loved what we saw from our offense when it was including Janovich. With the new offensive coaches coming in, I have to think they can see the potential in this player and make room for him in our offense.

Juwan Thompson

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Contract Info

Juwan Thompson is a guy that I think has some NFL ability, but not enough to really make an impact. He seems versatile, but the biggest success I’ve seen from him has been in his preseason work. I do love the power he runs with, but I have a hard time seeing him as having much of a future for Denver at RB.

Position Overview

I’m honestly just not crazy about the running backs we have on the roster today. The player out of all of these guys that I’m most interested in is the fullback.

C.J. I think is a a guy who can’t stay healthy and isn’t a game changer. He has shown some flashes to do that, but there’s just not consistency there from week to week.

I have hopes for Booker, but that is all they are. Too many times he went down in 2016 on first contact. If he doesn’t figure out a way to keep churning past the first blocker, he’ll not be a real answer for us.

All of this adds up to me as a unit in need of more talent. I can even see a future where we cut C.J. as we bring in guys from free agency and the draft with higher upside for fewer cap dollars. I don’t think this unit is going to look the same in training camp. Look for Denver to spend some draft capital on a RB in a draft that is pretty thick with decent RB talent.