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Broncos No Bull Roster Status Part 7: Quarterbacks / Running backs

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A No Bull look at the current Denver Broncos roster, its strengths, weaknesses, and what we can expect to target in free agency and the draft.

Denver Broncos v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With the season over and a huge change in coaching regime for the Denver Broncos, it is a great time to step back, take a look at the roster, and play a little armchair GM before free agency. All of this is my own personal opinion based off what I’ve seen from the players on the field.

Series links:

Part 1: Defensive Line

Part 2: Linebackers

Part 3: Secondary

Part 4: Special Teams

Part 5: Offensive Line

Part 6: Receivers

To wrap up the series, we’ll look closely at the Running Backs and Quarterbacks for the team to find out what holes the Broncos should be looking to fill in the 2019 NFL offseason.

Player Rating Key:

1 - Project / developmental - lacking necessary skills to contribute as it stands today

2 - Backup quality - Can play, but isn’t a guy you want out there every snap

3 - Mediocre starter - Doesn’t bring anything special to the table, but is able to do the job

4 - Good starter - An above-average talent

5 - Blue chip player - Top 10 talent in the NFL at what he does

Unit Rating Key:

1 - Blow it up - the Broncos have nothing NFL quality to work with

2 - Severely lacking at least one starter

3 - Mediocre need

4 - Solid talent and depth

5 - Elite talent level

Running Backs:

2018 Running Back Stats

No. Player Age Pos G GS Snaps / % Att Yds TD Lng Y/A A/G Tgt Rec Yds Y/R Lng Touch Y/Tch YScm RRTD
No. Player Age Pos G GS Snaps / % Att Yds TD Lng Y/A A/G Tgt Rec Yds Y/R Lng Touch Y/Tch YScm RRTD
30 Phillip Lindsay* 24 RB 15 8 516 / 42.2% 192 1037 9 65 5.4 12.8 47 35 241 6.9 29 227 5.6 1278 10
28 Royce Freeman 22 RB 14 8 441 / 29.4% 130 521 5 24 4 9.3 20 14 72 5.1 9 144 4.1 593 5
23 Devontae Booker 26 RB 16 0 308 / 28.7% 34 183 1 26 5.4 2.1 51 38 275 7.2 30 72 6.4 458 1
32 Andy Janovich 25 FB 16 7 239 / 22.3% 2 5 0 3 2.5 0.3 10 8 112 14 32 10 11.7 117 1
profootballreference.com, www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/snapcounts

Phillip Lindsay - 5

What are you going to say about a phenom at RB? Lindsay came out of the 2018 season like a shot from a cannon and is a true weapon on the football field. One of the things we need to see most is an offensive coaching staff who can coach up these young studs we have at RB and utilize them to their potential.

Lindsay is an elite NFL player. He’s a guy defenses have to account for and game plan against. Even then, he’s able to produce and the future looks very bright for the Broncos starting RB in 2019.

Royce Freeman - 3

Here’s another example of a guy who is going to love the hiring of Mike Munchak. Royce came from a zone running system in Oregon. Though he wasn’t nearly as phenomenal as Lindsay in 2018, he still put together a very solid rookie season and is a guy who is likely to improve this year.

I don’t have him rated as highly as I think of him mainly because the numbers don’t lie. He does a good job getting what yards are there, but hopefully is able to do more in his 2nd season as his average of 4 ypc is on the wrong side of mediocre.

Andy Janovich - 4

Here’s the tricky thing: Janovich is a baller but he plays a position that like it or not is dying in the modern NFL world. So his impact in this group probably isn’t as strong as we would like given how little he actually gets to impact play.

I will say this though: any time I notice him on the field, really good things are happening whether he’s actually getting a touch or if he’s a blocker.

Devontae Booker - 3

Booker never materialized as a NFL starter, but I honestly love the role he plays in this offense as it stands based off of 2018. He’s a talented backup player who can do everything at a decent level and is a guy you can trust on 3rd downs to either pick up a blitz or go out for a route to move the sticks out of the backfield.

Overview - 5

The Broncos are set at Running Back for 2019. They have a franchise quality player in Lindsay backed up by an extremely capable stable of backs who play at a high level. The Broncos may look for a potential replacement for Booker since he’s at the end of his contract, but there is no big need for them to go after a back in free agency or high in the draft.

Quarterbacks:

2018 Quarterback Stats

No. Player Age Pos G GS Snaps / % Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD TD% Int Int% Lng Y/A AY/A Y/C Y/G Rate QBR Sk
No. Player Age Pos G GS Snaps / % Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD TD% Int Int% Lng Y/A AY/A Y/C Y/G Rate QBR Sk
4 Case Keenum 30 QB 16 16 1073 / 99.9% 365 586 62.3 3890 18 3.1 15 2.6 64 6.6 6.1 10.7 243.1 81.2 47.9 34
5 Joe Flacco 33 QB 9 9 641 / 53.9% 232 379 61.2 2465 12 3.2 6 1.6 71 6.5 6.4 10.6 273.9 84.2 58.7 16
profootballreference.com, https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/snapcounts

Joe Flacco - 3

Flacco is an upgrade over Keenum in that he throws to all levels of the field. He doesn’t particularly do that at a very high level, but the offense should perform better with Flacco at the helm than what we saw in 2018.

Case Keenum - 2

Without a stud Tight End and two game changing WRs on the outside, Keenum just wasn’t able to replicate the level of play he had in Minnesota in 2017. It is a shame as he’s a very likeable guy. I’d love to see him stick around as a backup but I doubt he’s worth the money that his current contract has him at.

RFA Kevin Hogan - 2

Hogan is a passable backup. Thankfully we didn’t need him to take any snaps in 2018 which will hopefully be the case in 2019.

Overview - 2

Sorry, but I’m just not a fan of any of the names we have on the roster as it stands today (or on day 1 of the new league year) at quarterback. If the Broncos have shown us anything since 2015, it is that they know how to kick the can down the road at QB and try really hard to pass off mediocre piles of steaming offal as starting NFL QBs.

The team needs to find and develop a QB. Hopefully one will be a target for the team if not this year in the draft, then next year.

Roster status overall:

Defensive Line:

Defensive Ends 3

Nose Tackles 1

Linebackers:

Outside Linebackers 3

Inside Linebackers 2

Secondary:

Cornerbacks 2

Safeties 3

Kicking:

Kickers 4

Returners 2

Offensive Line:

Tackles 3

Interior O-Line 3

Receiving:

Tight Ends 2

Wide Receivers 4

RB / QB:

Running Backs 5

Quarterbacks 2