Montee Ball is taking over as the starter and featured back for the Broncos this year. According to second-year offensive coordinator Adam Gase, the depth chart is wide open behind Ball entering training camp.
“I would say everybody behind Montee right now is competing for the second spot. It’s wide-open. So whoever wants to step up, take the spot, that’s what we’re looking for.”
The Broncos are likely to carry four running backs this year, so that means three spots on the depth chart are up for grabs.
C.J. Anderson could win the primary backup job behind Ball this season. He’s down to 213 pounds after showing up to OTAs at 235. The coaches wanted Anderson to show up in better shape, so he’s worked hard to slim down before the start of training camp.
The team hasn’t given up on third-year pro Ronnie Hillman. He entered last year’s training camp as the starter but fumbled the job away in the preseason. Hillman gets another shot this year to prove himself worthy of playing as a change-of-pace back for the Broncos.
Jerodis Williams was an undrafted free agent for the Minnesota Vikings in 2013. The Broncos added him to their offseason roster earlier this year. Williams is a speedy back who stood out during minicamp and OTAs as a receiver out of the backfield.
The Broncos added three running backs after the draft as college free agents.
Kapri Bibbs was a standout player for the Colorado State Rams last year, and he racked up over 1,700 yards rushing and 31 touchdowns during his lone season in Ft. Collins. Bibbs was impressive during minicamp as a receiver out of the backfield. He caught passes cleanly, and Bibbs showed good burst when running after the catch.
Brennan Clay was arguably the most impressive undrafted free agent back during the offseason. He’s incredibly quick with the ball in his hands, and Clay can make cuts without losing much speed. Clay showed good vision when running through drills at minicamp.
Juwan Thompson is arguably the best all-purpose back on the roster. He’s great in pass protection and is a versatile ‘tweener who can play running back or full back (Thompson also played safety last year at Duke). He’s big enough to work as a lead blocker if need be, plus he can grind it between the tackles effectively and has good hands as a receiver.
The Broncos have many tough decisions to make when trimming down to the 53-man roster. Finding the right group of running backs might be the most difficult because of the talent at the position.