Much has changed and much has remained the same since I profiled Denver Broncos running back Damarea Crockett in MHR’s 2021 roster review series. Where last year I was talking about Crockett joining his college QB on the Broncos’ roster, Drew Lock is now in Seattle as part of the trade for Russell Wilson. With Noah Fant departing in that trade as well, the other Missouri Tiger on Denver’s roster, Albert Okwuegbunam, is moving up to presumably take over as TE1. That’s some pretty big change.
Unfortunately, falling under the “stayed the same” category is the fact that we still don’t know much about Crockett as an NFL running back. He barely saw the field last season, rushing just 3 times for 7 total yards during Denver’s Week 3 26-0 domination of the New York Jets. Even that little exposure came from Crockett being the primary beneficiary of the Broncos’ decision to waive veteran backup RB Royce Freeman. Conversely, a very healthy season for Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams ensured that Crockett & former Minnesota Viking Mike Boone both got almost no chance to play.
#28 Damarea Crockett
Weight: 225 lbs
Experience: 3 years
Crockett, a former 1,000+ yard rusher in the SEC, went undrafted in 2019. He bounced around several teams’ offseason rosters and/or practice squads before landing on the Broncos’ practice squad in October of 2020. Remaining there for the rest of the season, he had to wait for 2021 to get onto the active roster.
How he fits with the Broncos in 2022
Just as he was this time last year, Crockett is the clear #4 guy in the running back room. Denver’s re-signing of Melvin Gordon at the end of April threw cold water on Crockett’s chances for a larger role this season. He’s almost certainly going to need to really show out in training camp, or get “lucky” by benefitting from another RB’s injury (knock on wood), in order to see any real playing time this season.
That said, Crockett’s job is also in relatively little danger. While the Broncos may not always carry 4 running backs on the active roster, Crockett should be the top option for that spot. His only competition at the moment is 2022 undrafted free agent Tyreik McAllister.
While I was right last summer in that Crockett didn’t make the initial 2021 53 man roster, he stands a pretty decent chance of making the initial roster in 2022. And good on him for avoiding an early end to his NFL career, which was a concern last summer.
If all goes well this season, it will be another year that holds little opportunity for Crockett to get on the field in orange & blue. That’s not the worst thing in the world- life as an NFL backup is a pretty sweet gig all things considered. But if he wants to get out on the field and take some live NFL handoffs, Crockett’s best chance may be to show out in training camp/preseason enough to persuade GM George Paton- and some other GM- that he’s valuable enough to be moved in a trade.