With the top of the Broncos’ running back depth chart locked down by the likes of Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams, and Mike Boone looking like the lock for RB3, the rest of the backs on the roster are going to have to scramble to carve out a role on the roster. Damarea Crockett is going to be right in the thick of that struggle.
Damarea Crockett’s profile
Weight: 225 lbs
Age: 23 years old
Where much was made of Drew Lock’s favorite college tight end, Albert Okwuegbunam, joining the Broncos last season as a 4th round pick, Lock’s primary college running back found his way onto the roster pretty quietly. Denver signed Damarea Crockett, who went undrafted in 2019, to their practice squad on October 22nd, 2020 after stints with the Texans, Raiders, and Packers. He later re-upped with the team on a futures contract on January 4th, 2021.
As Joe Rowles noted in his breakdown of the Broncos’ running back room, Crockett is a bit of a mystery at the NFL level. Two seasons after he entered the league, we’ve yet to really see anything of him at this level of football.
Despite having height & weight roughly comparable to those of Gordon and Williams, Crockett plays with more of a scat back style. His draft profile notes that he’s got good elusiveness and an ability to find and exploit creases, and enough agility to slip tacklers. There’s value there in having a variety of running styles available for situational playcalling.
Crockett was able to put together some quality production in college, including a 1,000+ yard, 10 TD season as a freshman. That season he featured a very nice 6.9 yards per carry, and the lowest YPC figure of his college career was still a healthy 4.8.
Despite his college productivity, Crockett struggled with fumbles and was often too easy to tackle. Combine that with iffy vision and only 21 career receptions at Missouri, and you get a picture of a guy whose skillset may not be well-rounded enough to stick on an NFL roster. The lack of film on him in the NFL after two seasons won’t help in that regard, leaving him reliant on only the touches he can get during practice to make an impression.
Health is also a concern here, as Crockett lost approximately half of his sophomore season to injuries and was impacted again by further injuries as a junior. He’s had plenty of time off since then, so it may be less of an issue, but bad injury luck and playing running back are never a good combination.
Damarea Crockett’s roster status with the Broncos
The fact that Crockett signed a 2 year deal at about $130K above minimum salary gives him a little bit of weight toward sticking around. But with no guaranteed money and thus no dead money, I just don’t see the Missouri product making the final 53 man roster. Considering the disadvantages he’s facing, Crockett is most likely competing with LeVante Bellamy to earn a spot on the team’s practice squad. But if that doesn’t pan out, he may also end up facing the end of his NFL career.