The Denver Broncos may look to take a running back in April’s 2013 NFL Draft, which would be a good idea considering Willis McGahee‘s age and injury history. McGahee is really the only every-down back the Broncos have on their roster, so they need to get a young running back ready to fill in when McGahee needs a break, misses games due to injury or moves on from the Broncos.
A high-risk/high-reward pick for the Broncos would be South Carolina‘s Marcus Lattimore in the late rounds and hope he recovers well enough from injury to get anywhere close to 100 percent.
Lattimore is a junior who elected to leave early as injuries have limited his playing time every season other than his freshman year. Lattimore would have had the ability to crush records at South Carolina and maybe even some NCAA records as well had he stayed healthy throughout his college career. He is a very hard and quick runner who also has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He doesn’t have the elite speed to run away from the defense once he breaks, but Lattimore definitely has the ability to break free often.
The injuries he has sustained have been major injuries to both of his knees. Lattimore injured his right knee and suffered three torn ligaments during a game this past year that ended his junior season just one year after he tore a ligament in his left knee that ended his sophomore campaign.
Lattimore broke a South Carolina record with 38 touchdowns even though he only played 29 games. His style of running has garnered comparisons to Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson, who just received the NFL MVP award in 2012. Lattimore deserves those comparisons, but he will have to recover from more serious injuries than McGahee, who Lattimore is looking to for advice on rehab.
The Broncos may take a shot on Lattimore in the fourth or fifth round if he is still available. He seems to be working hard to return to form and who knows? Maybe the next McGahee will replace the current McGahee after a couple of seasons.