MHS Roundtable: Which running back will lead Denver Broncos 2022?

NFL: Denver Broncos Minicamp
Jun 13, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon (25) during mini camp drills at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Which Denver Broncos running back will lead the team in rushing yards, rushing attempts, and rushing touchdowns this upcoming season?

Our MHS Broncos staff continues their roundtable series focused on the Broncos backfield.

Which Denver Broncos running back leads the team in rush attempts?

Cody Roark’s pick: Javonte Williams

As Javonte Williams moves to the premier back role for the Broncos this season, he should lead the team in overall rushing attempts. Last season, both he and Melvin Gordon had equal rushing attempts with 203 apiece. While they could share the load this season, new Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett should look to give Williams more initial carries throughout the season.

Zach Segars’ pick: Javonte Williams

Javonte Williams is the slam dunk pick here. Injury is the only thing that could truly get in the way. Williams is superior to Gordon at this point and should be treated as such.

Rich Kurtzman’s pick: Javonte Williams

Did you know Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon received the exact same number of carries last year (203)? That’s kind of insane. Of course, Denver has a new head coach/play-caller in Nathaniel Hackett this season, so it will be interesting to see who he leans on more. I’m going to go with Williams for the most carries this year, but it will likely be close.

Lindsay Bebout’s pick: Javonte Williams

It’s still so insane to me that Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams both ran exactly 203 times last season. I think it’ll be a similar system this year, but ultimately, Williams will get more. Gordon will definitely remain a key piece of this offense, but after a year of underutilization, we are officially in the Williams era.

Which Broncos rusher leads the team in rushing yards?

Cody Roark’s pick: Javonte Williams

This newly installed Broncos offense in the outside zone scheme should benefit Javonte Williams to be the team’s leading rusher in 2022. As Williams projects to have more rushing attempts this season, his 4.4 yards per carry average last season was impressive and should be heavily emphasized this year.

Zach Segars’ pick: Javonte Williams

Williams will easily accomplish this feat. He’s the better back and will see the field the most. Most carries combined with most yards per carry is a surefire formula for most rushing yards. If Williams doesn’t lead the team here, it’s probably the result of a tragic injury.

Rich Kurtzman’s pick: Javonte Williams

Give me Williams again here. He will not only edge out Gordon in carries, but also in yards per carry and go over the 1,000-yard mark this year.

Lindsay Bebout’s pick: Javonte Williams

On top of Williams getting more carries, Williams will have more rushing yards because of his athleticism. Gordon has many skills, but he doesn’t hold a candle to Williams’ ability to break tackles. A 22-year-old Williams has a freshness that a 29-year-old Gordon, unfortunately, can’t match.

Which Broncos rusher leads the team in rushing touchdowns?

Cody Roark’s pick: Melvin Gordon

Nathaniel Hackett and Justin Outten have a good problem on their hands when trying to determine who should get the bulk of the team’s carries in the red zone. Melvin Gordon throughout his career has been efficient as a rusher inside the red zone. Carrying the torch from last season, he will likely maintain his role inside the 20s, but Williams should get the opportunity to have more chances down there as well.

Zach Segars’ pick: Javonte Williams

This is the only category where Gordon could press Williams, considering his red zone track record. That said, Gordon’s “nose for the end zone” has far more to do with a large quantity of red zone carries than some magic end zone magnetism. This season, those carries shouldn’t go to Gordon, and Williams will cruise past him.

Rich Kurtzman’s pick: Melvin Gordon

On the other hand, Gordon has a real “nose for the goal line,” as Zach said, with 53 career rushing touchdowns and the aforementioned 17 in his time with the Broncos. Gordon will lead again this year.

Lindsay Bebout’s pick: Melvin Gordon

Hot take: I’m giving it to Gordon. He was the Broncos’ main goal-line scorer last year, and it’ll be the same this year. Get ready to witness Gordon vulture a lot of touchdowns that Williams set up. Fantasy owners beware!
Many eyes are on the Denver Broncos rushing backfield this upcoming season eyeing which back gets a majority of the carries or whether or not the Broncos embrace a by-committee approach.
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