JACK DEMPSEY/Associated Press
The Broncos have seven running backs, and three of them were priority free agents after the NFL draft.
However, unless either C.J. Anderson or Ronnie Hillman, the second- and third-string running backs right now fail to make the team, at least two of the Broncos’ rookie backs will have to be cut (assuming the Broncos carry four RBs).
That leaves Kapri Bibbs, Brennan Clay and Juwan Thompson in competition. All three were undrafted free agents, and all three will get a chance to state their case.
Clay averaged 5.5 yards per carry in college, but he wasn’t a household name. He is known for blocking and catching passes well, however.
Thompson is a versatile, hardworking player who is willing to do anything. He’s also very capable in the passing game, but the 225-pound running back is no slouch as a power runner.
Bibbs scored 31 touchdowns in 2013, his only full season in college football. While his numbers were impressive, his Colorado State team often faced mediocre competition. He doesn’t have elite size or athleticism, but he has a nose for the end zone.
All three would bring something to the team, but Clay would bring the pass-blocking skills that current Broncos starter Montee Ball lacks. Clay's skill set, therefore, is unique.
Anderson, like Thompson, is a hardworking power back. Anderson, however, has already showcased himself in the preseason and in the regular season, so he has a better chance to make the roster than Thompson.
In fact, according to Denver radio talk show host Darren McKee, Anderson and Hillman are visibly performing better than their rookie counterparts. This doesn’t bode well for Thompson.
Ball, who set an FBS record with 39 touchdowns in 2011, was also phenomenal when it came to putting the ball in the end zone. Ball is penciled in as the starter, so Bibbs will have to show that he can do it all to make the team.
If the Broncos are lucky, they will be able to sneak the raw Bibbs and the model player Thompson onto the practice squad for development. However, they will have trouble finding a roster spot for them unless one can overtake Clay.