Denver Broncos: Montee Ball Faces Much Pressure as a Rookie and Will Prove His Worth

By Ryan Heckman


Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos offense has a chance to be special this season, real special.

With a future Hall of Fame quarterback under center in Peyton Manning, you’ll always have a chance to win going into any given matchup. But, the fact that he’s throwing the ball to three formidable wide receivers has to scare the opposing defenses even more so.

DeMaryius Thomas and Eric Decker were a fantastic tandem last season as they both went over the 1,000 yard mark and possess different unique talents. The addition of Wes Welker makes their passing game instantly the top-ranked going into the 2013 season.

The one thing missing up to this point is a legitimate run game. After drafting Montee Ball out of the University of Wisconsin, Denver has put all their eggs in one basket, so to speak. The Broncos let go of veteran running back Willis McGahee earlier this summer and it looks like the job officially belongs to Ball.

In his final two seasons with the Badgers, Ball went over 5,000 yards and scoring 71 touchdowns. The 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist is a perfect fit in Denver, and with the release of McGahee will have all the pressure in the world on his back to perform. Surrounded by such elite company, he will have everything going for him and quite frankly, is one of the luckiest rookies in the entire NFL.

Not many rookies get the chance to be plugged in the way Ball will be. He possesses an ability to see cutback lanes better than almost anybody in the 2013 draft class, and not only that, but the guy hits those lanes with a head of steam. He’s got great vision which will work perfectly in hand with both pass blocking and turning screens into huge gains.

One of the biggest criticisms of Ball coming out of college is the fact that he chose to stay in college all four years and has gotten a lot of run throughout his college career. For that reason, many teams passed on him. Luckily for Ball, though, he comes into a situation where they may not need to run the ball as much as other teams would.

The bottom line for the Broncos is that they have gotten themselves the absolute ideal running back out of this year’s draft and so far he seems to be impressing. Coaches have liked his ability to adjust well to screen passes and his above-average hands in the passing game.

To top it all off, Ball is a hard-working athlete. He doesn’t slack in any areas and proved he was serious about his future in football when he dropped about 25 pounds heading into his junior season at Wisconsin. He’s the type of guy to do anything to help the team win, and Manning will be just fine with that.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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