Denver Broncos: How Does Knowshon Moreno Fit into the Team's Plans?

Travis WakemanCorrespondent IIMay 16, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 11:  Knowshon Moreno #27 of the Denver Broncos at Cowboys Stadium on August 11, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The 2011 season was a tumultuous one for Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno.

He played in only seven games and lost his starting job to Willis McGahee before tearing his ACL in a game against Kansas City in November, ending his season.

Then in February, he was charged with DUI, careless driving and having no proof of insurance.

In April's draft, the Broncos selected Ronnie Hillman, a flashy back out of San Diego State in the third round. This had to raise some eyebrows as Hillman is certainly capable of replacing Moreno, some even suggesting he's already ahead of him on the depth chart.

After making him the 12th overall pick in the 2009 draft, the Broncos have to give Moreno every chance they can. But he was also drafted by the former regime led by Josh McDaniels and the Broncos have seemed intent to annul everything that the former coach put together.

Moreno has shown plenty of promise, showing fans why he was a former first-round pick out of Georgia.

In 36 career games, he has rushed for 1,905 yards with 12 TDs while averaging 4.1 yards a carry. In addition, he's been a great pass-catcher out of he backfield, hauling in 76 balls for 686 yards and another six scores.

The problem is that he's viewed as not being durable. Also, he's had plenty of trouble protecting the ball, having coughed it up eight times in those 36 games.

But it's the off-field issues that may be Moreno's undoing.

Willis McGahee is entrenched as the team's starter right now.

Add in Hillman and a very solid backup in Lance Ball, and Moreno could conceivably be the odd-man out. To make matters worse, the Broncos are reportedly very eager to see what Mario Fannin can do, according to The National Football Post.

Fannin was turning heads in training camp last year before being placed on IR after being hurt in camp. It's well known that head coach John Fox likes to have a bevy of backs on the roster, but Moreno could easily get lost in the shuffle here.

Moreno is still under contract through 2013 and the deal includes a club option for 2014. But if a team is in need of a running back this offseason and they inquire about a trade for the former Georgia Bulldog, I have a feeling the Broncos would listen.