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Broncos’ Roster Review: Jeremy Cox

Jeremy Cox combines intriguing athleticism with the kind of size Shurmur loves. Is it enough?

NFL: Preseason-Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers
Cox combines contact balance with athleticism.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Cox entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Old Dominion in 2019 and signed with the Los Angeles Chargers. After failing to make a dent in a running back room that had Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler, and Justin Jackson he was cut from the Bolts and found his way to the Broncos as a future’s signing after the 2019 season concluded.

As tends to be the case in the NFL, things changed drastically for his outlook since his initial signing. Melvin Gordon was brought on with a two-year $16 million contract, which hints that it may be tough to stick on the roster. It may not be so cut and dry, however.

Cox helped to seal Old Dominion's upset victory over Virginia Tech in 2018.
Cox helped to seal Old Dominion’s upset victory over Virginia Tech in 2018.

Jeremy Cox’s profile

Height: 5’11”
Weight: 223 lbs
Age: 23 years old
Experience: 1

The Good

Throughout Pat Shurmur’s time as a play caller he has shown a clear affinity for bigger running backs. That could bode well for Cox compared to smaller players like Khalfani Muhamad, and LeVante Bellamy.

It’s tough to get quality tape for Cox, but he appears have solid athleticism for a back his size and because he only logged 441 carries across his collegiate career due to a timeshare situation, he should have plenty of juice left if he’s called upon. He’s been utilized as a pass catcher in the past and displays the kind of hands to be a solid option as a dumpoff receiver.

What seems specifically good for Cox is that the coaching staff and Elway do appear to have cooled on Royce Freeman, which means the younger backs will probably get a real chance to make an impression.

The Bad

One concern that’s going to be hard to answer is Cox fell into a timeshare after a promising sophomore season because of injuries. There’s no guarantee he’d hold up over time to NFL carries.

The other notable issue with his game is that he’s a buildup runner and will need space to gain speed. This isn’t all that different from Melvin Gordon, who’s a physical runner that needs a little bit of room to get moving before he can display his contact balance.

Jeremy Cox’s roster status with the Broncos

The numbers are stacked against him with Melvin Gordon, Phillip Lindsay, and Royce Freeman currently ahead of him on the depth chart. While there’s been plenty of speculation that the Broncos will part with Freeman, until they do so he’s a far more established player than Cox and the other younger backs. I suspect one will have to show enough on special teams and the preseason to convince Elway to cut or trade his 2018 third round pick.

It wouldn’t be a huge shock to me if Cox is one of the darling in camp and the preseason this year. He fits the profile of a Shurmur back and there’s reason to believe he could find success in the new offense. Neither Gordon or Lindsay will probably see many live carries before the third preseason game and the rumors surrounding Freeman means an opportunity could exists for someone to steal the show and his job.


Will Jeremy Cox make the Broncos’ roster?

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