DENVER - SEPTEMBER 19: Running back Knowshon Moreno #27 of the Denver Broncos runs through a hole as safety Earl Thomas #29 of the Seattle Seahawks looks to make a tackle during NFL action at INVESCO Field at Mile High on September 19 2010 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
To answer my own headline, probably.
Knowshon Moreno was a first round pick who has not lived up to expectations, primarily because of his injury history. The former Georgia running back has played only 36 out of a possible 48 games over his first three seasons, and when he's been healthy he hasn't always been a starter.
That said, he's only 24 years old. He's got a 4.1 yards per carry career average and 9.0 yards per catch, proving his versatility. The only major problems with Moreno is that he is clearly not the elite talent people expected him to be, and he gets hurt too often. Those are issues, yes, but not a great reason to dump a player entirely.
Yet the Broncos are on the cusp of doing so. After using a first round pick on the guy, it's hard to blame them for thinking he's been a disappointment. If they're cutting him or letting him go, there's probably a dozen teams in the NFL who could find a use for him.
Are the Falcons one of them?
Probably not. The Falcons seem content to roll with Michael Turner, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jason Snelling and possibly Antone Smith/Dmitri Nance. That'll be good enough for their purposes this year, and I'm not quibbling with that depth chart.
If you could get a fairly versatile back like Moreno—remember that he's just 24 years old—for the price of a low-round pick or just a contract, though, would you re-shuffle the running back corps? I imagine you would, giving him a couple of years and an incentive-laden deal designed to get the best out of him. Moreno would be an intriguing backup to Michael Turner this year and a possibly match with Jacquizz Rodgers down the line. Given his relative lack of production to this point, he ought to come reasonably cheap, too.
At a low-round price, it's probably worth it. Moreno still has upside, has reasonable talent now and would make a nice backup. He and Jacquizz Rodgers could serve as Turner's primary backups, with Snelling serving as the fourth back/backup fullback. Moreno would add another receiving threat to the backfield and, as I mentioned, would be an option to compete for starts in 2013 and beyond.
What do you think?