Royce Freeman Set for Bell-Cow Status With Broncos

The most productive rusher in this draft class landed in the perfect value hole.

With the 71st overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected their future workhorse, Royce Freeman. The former Oregon Duck had been an every-down back for his team since the day he stepped foot on campus, which should not change with the Broncos.

Amassing an incredible 947 carries during his four years at Oregon, Freeman has the experience and skill-set to make an immediate impact with the Broncos. With the departure of 1,000 CJ Anderson, a value hole was created and the Broncos filled it with Freeman. Standing at a massive 6-feet, 229 lbs, he’s built to carry a three-down load.

“I want to be out there on first down and second down and third down,” Freeman said. “That’s part of my asset as the running back.”

Indeed, Freeman was productive as a receiver in college, but GM John Elway seems to be envisioning an early-down role, saying “He’s the bell-cow type for first and second down… He’s the guy we needed – we needed a thumper – and he’s that kind of runner. He’ll be great in short yardage and can also break a long run or two.”

Still, Freeman should have no problem surpassing the far less talented Devontae Booker for this role. Even though he is built like a Mack truck, he’s incredible quick and nimble for his size. He registered the third fastest three-cone drill at his position at the combine (6.90 sec), providing that he has the potential to be a three-down back. He also caught 79 balls for 814 yards at Oregon. He was the most productive rusher in this class (5,621 yards and 60 touchdowns on the ground), which should translate to the next level. The Broncos filled their value hole with the most experienced workhorse in this draft class.