He was the 12th overall pick in 2009, a draft that has produced plenty of first-round busts. And Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno could soon be out of a job in Denver, barring a dramatic turnaround in his fourth season.
Moreno, who tore an ACL last year, already has lost his starting job to veteran Willis McGahee. The arrival of Ronnie Hillman via round three of the 2012 draft could knock Moreno another peg down the depth chart.
Moreno claims he’s unfazed by the crowded backfield and his current standing in it.
“Every year is going to have that. You always have to have backs. It doesn’t mean anything,” Moreno said recently, via Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post. “Everyone is still competing for a job, everyone is trying to make the team better.”
Entering the fourth year of his rookie contract, Moreno is due to earn a base salary of only $855,000. Other compensation may be available, and the likely cap acceleration from his pre-wage scale deal could give him another year to prove that the Broncos made the right call when calling his name three years ago.
Working against Moreno is a February DUI arrest.
Moreno rushed for 947 yards as a rookie. In 2010, his production dropped to 779 yards. He had only 179 yards in seven games before suffering his season-ending injury in 2011.