Broncos Mailbag: Which player could be in line for a breakout season?

Olx Praca Broncos writer Ryan O’Halloran posts periodically to his Broncos mailbox during the off-season. Ask questions to Ryan here.

Ryan, if Mike Boone is healthy, will he be the second runner this year? I enjoyed watching him play when he was with the Vikings.
— Don Smith, Loveland

If the Broncos had to play football until Thursday, Boone would be their number two running behind Javonte Williams.

General manager George Paton needs to cook something up because Boone has never scored more than 49 times in a season and the organizational challenge will likely be to not overuse Williams.

Boone never made it out of the blocks last year. He suffered a four limb injury in a joint training session in Minnesota and missed weeks 1-5. He then got a healthy scratch in two of the next six games, carried four times for 35 yards to Kansas City, but tested positive for COVID-19 a few days later.

I expect the Broncos to take a back draft run this weekend, but don’t rule out Boone playing a small role on offense.

Who do you think is in line for the season’s breakthrough? Javonte Williams looks like he’s ready to run 1,000+ yards. What do you think of people like Jonathan Cooper? Given the injury history of our starting forwards, do you think he could surprise anyone?
— Ron, Parker

Can we even consider Williams a breakthrough candidate? I say no, because last year he hit 203 times.

Cooper? Possibly, but he may not have enough playing time to deserve a breakthrough.

Several variants:

Receiver KJ Hamler if fully recovered from a left anterior cruciate ligament tear sustained in late September. (I think I said it last year as well.) Tight end Albert Okwuegbunam will also get a chance after the Noah Fant trade.

On defense, outside linebacker Bradley Chubb could be a re-breakout player, while defenseman Dre’Mont Jones would be a good choice.

Do you see the Broncos trading back into the first round on Thursday? And if they do, is there anyone they could target? Maybe protective equipment?
— Marshall, Parker