As we near closer to the start of free agency and deeper into draft season, it’s time to start discussing what areas of need the Broncos have this offseason. The obvious ones are offensive line, speed wide receiver, defensive line and cornerback. However, with the focus being on revamping the offense, I think running back is a bigger need this offseason than most people think and/or assume.
Phillip Lindsay will likely remain the focal point of the Broncos rushing attack. He is coming off two back to back 1,000 yard rushing seasons and has a career YPC 4.9. That is pretty damn solid and a nice piece to build your rushing attack around. However, he is entering the final year of his rookie contract and now has had two offseason wrist surgeries. So there are some red flags there, albeit, minor ones. The real concern for me is the depth behind Lindsay.
Behind Lindsay, you have former third-round pick Royce Freeman coming off a season where he averaged a pedestrian 3.8 yards per carry. That will not cut when you’re the 1B to Phillip Lindsay. Former fourth round pick Devontae Booker will be hitting free agency and likely won’t be back and after that, there isn’t much else.
This is why I believe a running back could be signed in free agency or selected early during the 2020 NFL Draft.
You also have newly hired offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur running the Broncos offense. During his first season as the New York Giants Head Coach, his team selected Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick. So, could we see him persuade General Manager John Elway and Head Coach Vic Fangio to take another back early? I think it’s possible. Hell, Elway has shown in the past that he isn’t afraid of using a day two selection on a running back in the past, so I defiantly could see him doing it again.
You have to keep in mind too that Drew Lock will be entering the 2020 season with only 5 starts under his belt. While it was a solid and at times impressive five games, a solid running attack would help take a bit of weight off his shoulders and allow to grow as a passer without the pressure of carrying the offense.
I personally value a rushing attack more than the modern narrative, so I am admittedly a bit biased here. I would be all for spending on a back in free agency or selecting one within the top 50 picks of the draft. I do understand you can find backs anywhere and everywhere though.
In the end, I think the 1B spot in the Broncos running back rotation can be improved on and I expect some competition to be added there at the very least this offseason.
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