The Broncos jumped up the draft board early in the second round last Friday so they could select former North Carolina running back Javonte Williams with the 35th overall pick.
Williams joined Najee Harris and Travis Etienne at the top of most lists of the best running back prospects in this year’s draft after averaging 7.3 yards per carry and running for 19 touchdowns during his final college season. His selection comes after the Broncos let Phillip Lindsay leave as a free agent and signed former Viking Mike Boone.
Melvin Gordon remains on the depth chart and General Manager George Paton explained why he thinks Williams’ addition makes the trio match up favorably to just about every other group in the league.
“He’s a three-down back. He’s really powerful. He has speed to take it the distance,” Paton said, via Mike Klis of KUSA. “The thing about him, he’s really hard to tackle. If you watch him, you see they have a hard time tackling him because he’s so physical, he’s built low to the ground. He breaks tons of tackles. He’s elusive in the open field. And he can pass protect. And catch the ball out of the backfield. So we feel he’s a three-down back who’s going to add to the room. I’ll keep talking about competition but we wanted more competition in the running back room and with Melvin and Mike Boone and Javonte, I think we have as good a crew as any in the league.”
The Broncos plan to have Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock compete for the starting quarterback job, although that could change if the situation in Green Bay changes. Either man would benefit from a potent run game, although defenses are likely going to try to force the ball in the air until the Broncos show they are capable of scoring points that way.