Originally written on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Denver_broncos_v_bac5

Knowshon Moreno, Denver’s 3rd year formerly starting running back, is on the verge of being a draft bust. Josh McDaniels drafted him #12 in the 2009 draft and, given his stellar college career, he came into the NFL with high expectations. At Georgia, despite declaring for the NFL draft as a junior, he held sixth place in the school record list for 498 rushing attempts, 2,734 rushing yards, and 30 rushing touchdowns.

But his first year with the Broncos was met with disappointment: he managed only a 59.2 yards per game average in 16 games, and a paltry 7 touchdowns. He seemed slow to hit the hole, indecisive, and lacked a burst once he hit the second level. His performance seemed less than pedestrian. While it is true that the offensive line took a lot of the blame for his poor performance, Moreno himself seemed to be much of the problem.

2010 was not any better. He only played in 13 games, but his average per game went up by only .7 to 59.9 yards per game and only 5 touchdowns.

In the 2011 offseason, he started a serious workout program. He slimmed down and tried to be a faster, more dynamic back. In training camp, his expectations were high, going so far as to occasionally be referred to as “New Knowshon” or “Knewshon”, but he was quickly eclipsed by McGahee who was superior in every respect. Still, as a relief running back, Moreno actually showed significant improvement over the course of the season with few opportunities. Then he blew out his ACL in game 7 of the season and had to be put on injured reserve.

John Fox said today that his rehab is coming along “quite nicely,” and that he sees Moreno in the team rehab facility almost every day. With luck, the ACL won’t set him back, but one never knows about an injury of that nature.

Privately, the team has said that they intend to keep him on the roster in 2012, but he will have a smaller role in the offense. His salary cap hit is very small, and the team is already in need at his position. With McGahee having worn down by the end of the season, it is important that the team has a solid back that can relieve McGahee so he does not have to carry the load for so long.

To throw a wrench into the mix, however, Moreno was arrested for a DUI on Feb 1. He was pulled over for speeding in a construction zone, and then they found that he not only had been drinking, he did not have proof of insurance.

Fox’s comments on the matter seemed relatively neutral; he clearly did not want to overly punish a player for making a mistake, but also will not want to see something like this happen from the player again.

What does the future hold for Moreno? His rehab is going well, but you never know how an ACL will heal until it is healed. These days ACL tears aren’t the career-enders that they used to be, but frankly Moreno’s weaknesses as a running back are only going to be compounded by a bad knee. The Broncos are in need of another back, and it seems likely that he will return to the team only to be in fierce competition with Lance Ball, Jeremiah Johnson and Mario Fannin for the #3 position. Ball is the leading prospect for that role, but Fannin came into the league with high hopes that he could be a diamond in the rough. With all of this, it is entirely possible that between his knee, his DUI, and his sub-par performance, he might not survive the cut-down phase at the end of training camp.

All in all, Moreno has his work cut out for him; he has already fallen far short of his draft expectations, and unless he improves drastically in 2012, he is going to be considered a first round bust.


MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Fans struck by lightning after Buccaneers-Packers game

Report: Philip Rivers playing through painful back injury

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

Report: Browns interested in drafting Marcus Mariota

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

WATCH: Three players ejected after Giants-Rams fight

WATCH: Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

WATCH: Johnny Manziel leaves with injury after taking big hit

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

WATCH: South Alabama coach bloodied after kick to the face

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.