2013 Free Agents of interest – Part 12 – Rashard Mendenhall , RB


Rashard Mendenhall – RB: 5’ 10’’, 225 lbs, 25 y/o, 4th season, was drafted in the 1st round (23rd overall) in the 2008 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rashard Mendenhall is a little bit of Dr. Jekill and Mr. Hide kind of player. He’s a really good running back; he’s complete: he can run inside, outside, he could block and he could catch some. Still he’s not a thrilling player and he’s more of a younger McGahee kind of player than a game changer.

He has history of injuries, major and minor; he has been practically kicked out of Pittsburgh team at the end of the 2012 season and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.

Now that Moreno showed what he could do (that is actually the same that what McGahee can do) this signing make lot less sense.

Still, he is one of the best running back on the market now and with the draft running back group looking really weak, this year, I guess that if the Broncos want to add some new body in the running back pool, they could probably come via free agency.

So what he’ll bring when he is healthy? He’s a tough runner and is not afraid of contact. He constantly could gain some extra yard and has some more acceleration than McGahee and Moreno. He does not look to have the speed to break a tackle and run 50 yards downfield for a TD.

From the abilities standpoint he could be a great addition, but for him being a Bronco, one between McGahee and Moreno should not be on the team at training camp.

His career stats in regular season games as week 17 of 2012: he started 48 games out of 57 regular season game he played in; amassed 3549 on 864 rush attempts and 29 TDs, 661 received yards out of 77 receptions and 2 more touchdown and committed 9 fumbles losing 7 of them.

Why the broncos would be interested:

  • The Broncos could try to add a little bit of acceleration on the running back group, having still the ability to run for moving the chains as the Broncos did the whole year. He could be that guy.
  • He could be a cheaper addition than Jackson (Rams RB), giving that the Broncos will have to use the most of the cap room to re-sign LT Ryan Clady.
  • He could bring some more nastiness to Denver offense, a quality that was not there to see during the loss against Baltimore in the 2012 divisional playoffs.

Why the Broncos could not pursuing him:

  • Mendenhall brings injury concerns.
  • I have no clue about what happened between him and the Steelers during the 2012 season, but for sure it could scare away some teams, being the Broncos one of them.
  • The running back group in this draft is very weak IMO, and this could led some team to throw more money in free agency than what it would happens in a normal year. He could be less cheap than what I said before.
  • The Broncos could just decide to go on with the running backs the have on their roster.

Resume:

Rashard Mendenhall could bring some more speed and acceleration to the Broncos running committee. A younger version of McGahee. He will still be able to run in the middle and come out with the 4 yards the Broncos look to like or running outside make some people miss and break some tackle there too. He’s a complete running back in a classic Steelers mold, he could provide some pass catching abilities and he can block as Peyton Manning likes. The knock on him are injuries.

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