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Broncos Draft History: Running Backs

Posted Mar 23, 2014

A look back at running backs the Broncos have selected in the NFL Draft.

As we begin to wrap up our week's preview of the running backs available in the 2014 NFL Draft, let's take a look back at who the Broncos have drafted at that position.

Player: Montee Ball
Year Drafted: 2013
Round: 2 - 58th Overall
College: Wisconsin

Broncos Career: In his rookie season, Ball finished as the Broncos' second-leading rusher with 559 yards on 120 carries (4.7 avg.). He added four rushing scores and also caught 20 passes for 145 yards. Ball ranked fifth on the team with six special-teams stops.


Player: Ronnie Hillman
Year Drafted: 2012
Round: 3 - 67 Overall
College: San Diego State

Broncos Career: In his rookie season, Hillman finished third on the team with 330 rushing yards on 85 carries with one touchdown. He recorded a Broncos postseason rookie-record 22 carries for 83 yards (3.8 avg.) in Denver's AFC Divisional Playoff Game vs. Baltimore. In 2013, Hillman carried 55 times for 218 yards, again finishing as the club's third-leading rusher.


Player: Knowshon Moreno
Year Drafted: 2009
Round: 1 - 12 Overall
College: Georgia

Broncos Career: Moreno ranks in the franchise’s top 10 in rushing yards (3,468) and rushing touchdowns (26) in 60 career regular-season games played (45 starts) during his five seasons with the Broncos. He ranked fifth in the NFL in scrimmage yards (1,586) and tied for fifth with 13 scrimmage touchdowns in 2013. Moreno became the first player in franchise history to record 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in a single season in 2013.


Player: Clinton Portis
Year Drafted: 2002
Round: 2 - 51 Overall
College: Miami (Fla.)

Broncos Career: Portis made his impact felt immediately his rookie season, rushing for 1,508 yards and scoring 17 total touchdowns. Those numbers earned him the AP Rookie of Year Award. He followed up his rookie campaign with a stellar second season in which he ran for 1,591 yards, earning a Pro Bowl nod. His Denver career ended in March of 2004 when he was traded to the Washington Redskins for Champ Bailey and a draft choice.


Player: Terrell Davis
Year Drafted: 1995
Round: 6b - 196 Overall
College: Georgia

Broncos Career: Davis, a three-time Pro Bowl and first-team All Pro selection in 1996-98, finished his career with a franchise-record 7,607 rushing yards and 60 rushing touchdowns in 78 regular season games as a key member of the Broncos' back-to-back Super Bowl championship teams. In 1998, he rushed for 2,008 yards, the fourth most rushing yards in a season in NFL history, to earn league MVP honors. Davis was inducted to the Broncos' Ring of Fame in 2007.


Player: Bobby Humphrey
Year Drafted: 1989
Round: 1 - Supplemental Draft
College: Alabama

Broncos Career: When the Broncos selected Humphrey in the 1989 Supplemental Draft, the hope was he would be the perfect complement to John Elway and the passing game. That hope came true his rookie season as the former Crimson Tide standout rushed for 1,151 yards and helped the team reach Super Bowl XXIV. He added to that total the following year with 1,202 yards rushing and was named to the Pro Bowl. A contract dispute in 1991 limited his action to just four games and the following season he was traded to Miami.


Player: Otis Armstrong
Year Drafted: 1973
Round: 1 - 9 Overall
College: Purdue

Broncos Career: After leaving Purdue as the school's all-time leading rusher, Armstrong only rushed for 90 yards his rookie year. The following year, he nearly doubled that total in the first two games on his way to a league high 1,407 rushing yards. He finished his Broncos career with 4,453 rushing yards, 123 receptions for 1,302 receiving yards, 879 yards from kickoff returns and 32 total touchdowns.


Player: Floyd Little
Year Drafted: 1967
Round: 1 - 6 Overall
College: Syracuse

Broncos Career: Little was the first No. 1 draft pick ever signed by the Broncos and was widely regarded as "The Franchise." That was a billing he easily lived up to by leading the Broncos in rushing from 1967 to 1973 and rewriting the Broncos' rushing record book. At the time of his retirement, Little ranked seventh in NFL annals in career rushing yards. Little was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010 and was one of the four original Denver Broncos Ring of Fame inductees. His jersey No. 44 is one of three retired by the organization.


Other notable running backs and fullbacks drafted:

Year Rd. No. Name College
2008 5a 139 Ryan Torain Arizona State
2008 7b 227 Peyton Hillis Arkansas
2005 3c 101 Maurice Clarett Ohio State
2004 2a 41 Tatum Bell Oklahoma State
2004 7b 247 Brandon Miree Pittsburgh
2003 4a 108 Quentin Grffin Oklahoma
2000 6 189 Mike Anderson Utah
1999 4 127 Olandis Gary Georgia
1996 3a 65 Detron Smith Texas A&M
1993 2 43 Glyn Milburn Stanford
1982 1 21 Gerald Willhite San Jose State
1982 5 131 Sammy Winder Southern Mississippi
1977 2 45 Rob Lytle Michigan
1964 14   Bob Hayes Florida A&M

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