Juwan Thompson of St. Croix Has More Than A Fighting Chance To Make The Denver Broncos Team
Juwan Thompson of St. Croix
DENVER – There is incredible competition for who will become the Broncos go-to running back this season as the Mile High training camp features some of the NFL’s top headliners at the position.
There’s the pre-eminent lead back in C.J. Anderson, the talented-but-injury-prone Montee Ball, and the perpetually-in-limbo Ronnie Hillman.
And while those three would compose a very capable trio of runners, one other option at tailback cannot be underestimated in the battle for three to four coveted roster spots. That man? Juwan Thompson of St. Croix.
The undrafted free agent out of Duke is the iPhone equivalent of not just ball carriers, but football players as a whole in that he can do it all for a team. During his time in college, in addition to playing running back he played linebacker as well for the Blue Devils.
Thompson also served as the captain of the special teams unit. Granted, Thompson won’t be playing linebacker anytime soon, but his ability to find a niche within a team only makes him more appealing to an organization looking to maximize their 53-man roster.
When Thompson does hit the field, he brings a lot to an offense. To say he is a physical runner is a dramatic understatement. He runs with max effort and an intent to do damage to anyone who stands in his path.
One would expect that this would mean he tallies up little yardage given his inclination to initiate contact. This, though, could not be further from the truth. On 54 attempts in his rookie season, he averaged 5.0 yards-per-carry and managed to find the endzone three times.
This success can also be attributed to Thompson’s most overlooked trait: his speed. For someone who is 5-foot-11 and 225 pounds, he can move. It’s not anything which will jump off the screen to the average fan, but it’s gets the job done without holding him back.
Thompson, from a skill perspective, checks all the desired boxes to be an efficient contributor as a running back in the NFL.
Moreover, head coach Gary Kubiak seems to have taken a bit of a liking to Thompson. Still, this probably shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as he is an adept one-cut runner — the very type of runner Kubiak covets in his offensive attack.
Thompson won’t compete for the starting duties as it appears Anderson has an iron tight grip on the gig, but he could very well shock a lot of fans and win the job as his understudy. His flexibility, physicality, and skillset make him an intriguing option to do so.
Plus, his uses in the red zone are numerous and would be an easy guy hand to hand the ball off to in goal-to-go situations.
Either way, Broncos fans should get used to hearing Thompson’s name called on Sundays.