If there is an opportunity to acquire a player like Maurice Jones-Drew to upgrade your team, you do it. Jones-Drew would be a great fit here and would put our offense into one of the top echelons in the NFL. Him and Peyton have a potential of several great seasons ahead of them and would work well together. McGahee was a pleasant surprise for us last season, but he is thirty years old. Though he saved some mileage on his tires when Ray Rice became the man with the Ravens, half of his career has had a YPC average under 4.0 -- with two seasons being outliers that improve his career average barely past that mark. I don't think we will see McGahee put up those kind of numbers again this year. However, those two getting the majority of the rushing action would be just nasty. That would be an incredible running back duo, perhaps the best in the NFL.
I think that when you consider the following ideas on the running situation in Denver:
- McGahee's age and the strong likelihood he won't keep repeating last years efforts
- That even if Knowshon makes the team this year, he probably isn't going to be on the roster with the cap number he carries on the following season (I believe it's ~ 3.5 million), and unless he balls out I don't see him sticking around on club option come 2015
- Hillman could turn out to be a great player (and is a great fit for Denver), but he hasn't had any pre-season action yet as a rookie and has a lingering hammy injury
- Gives us an excuse to get rid of Lance Ball and the rest of the camp fodder
Not to mention that Jones-Drew is going to give you a Pro-Bowl caliber player at the position who has been durable in his NFL career. Hopefully Jack Del Rio goes up to John Elway and tells him that he would be the addition that puts this team over the top. These type of guys don't hit free agency. I know we have other needs on the team, but you make the call and see what they want for him in the first place.
Would I give up a first-rounder? Yep. MJD would have more of an impact than likely any rookie that would be at the bottom quarter of round one. However, I doubt just one first-rounder does it. Just imagine something like this for the next couple of years.
Maurice Jones Drew (27 years old)
Willis McGahee (30 years old)
Ronnie Hillman (20 years old)
Then at some point in time down the road (after McGahee is gone) get another strong inside runner who can get tough yards. Keep a cycle going and keep an area strong. Seriously, it's a John Fox team. You have to have good depth and quality at running back. McGahee-Moreno or McGahee-Hillman or any duo or trio you can come up with doesn't match what Stewart and Williams could do in Carolina, IMHO. I think it's a position on offense where we have potential on now, but is still pretty average.
We can do better. Acquiring Jones-Drew would be tremendous.