Austin Ekeler

LA Chargers: Ranking the AFC West running back rooms

Dec 27, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler
Dec 27, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler / Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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The running back position is really deep in the AFC West. There is not a bad team when it comes to the running back position and the LA Chargers are definitely going to need to contain the run against each of their AFC West foes.

As we head into training camp and the preseason, we wanted to rank the four AFC West teams at each position to see who has the edge and where. The first ranking was Justin Herbert and the AFC West quarterbacks.

Since there is more than just one running back who plays, we are not ranking only Austin Ekeler and the starters. We are ranking entire running back rooms, which changes the conversation.

Ranking the AFC West running back rooms:

4. Denver Broncos — Melvin Gordon, Javonte Williams, Royce Freeman, Mike Boone

If there is one team that has disaster potential written all over the running back room it is the Denver Broncos. If Melvin Gordon starts to regress at his age, which is absolutely possible, then it is hard-pressed to see who in that depth chart is going to step up.

Javonte Williams was taken in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft and there is absolutely potential there but rookie running backs are perhaps the hardest group to gauge. He will definitely one day take over the starting job from Gordon but there is no guarantee that he can be any better than Phillip Lindsay was for them last season.

Royce Freeman and Mike Boone are not exciting at all, either. If Gordon gets hurt or is not playing well and Williams is struggling as a rookie then the Broncos are going to really struggle, which will not be good for them as they also have the worst quarterback in the division.

However, on the flip side, if Gordon can hang on and give one more year of solid production and Williams is an impact player right away then the Broncos will be just fine. They are the hardest running back room to gauge this season and the potential for disaster puts them fourth.