Measurables: 5-foot-9, 212 pounds.
2014 stats: N/A *practice squad.
To be frank, I was surprised when Kapri Bibbs slipped through the entire 2014 NFL Draft without hearing his name called. He may have only played one season in Division I NCAA football, but that season was as prolific as they come.
With 1,741 yards rushing and 31 touchdowns, Bibbs joined the great Barry Sanders and the Denver Broncos own Montee Ball as the only players in NCAA history to crack the 30-TD mark. He was a beast. Instinctual, with a nose-for the endzone, Bibbs had a lot to offer the NFL.
John Elway and the Broncos signed him as an undrafted free agent. As a local CSU product, Bibbs immediately became a sensation within the fanbase, especially once the preseason games began. He ran hard and found the endzone but the Broncos were well-stocked at running back.
Ultimately, Bibbs lost out on a spot on the final roster to fellow undrafted running back Juwan Thompson, who made some waves of his own in preseason action, trucking the competition. Fortunately for the Broncos, Bibbs cleared waivers and they signed him to the practice squad.
But the injury bug is no respecter of persons and by the time Week 8 rolled around, running backs were dropping like flies around the NFL. Other teams came sniffing around Bibbs, prompting the Broncos to promote him (short-term) to the active roster.
Once the fervor of need dissipated, the Broncos again waived him in favor of veteran running back Jeremy Stewart. Bibbs finished out the year on the practice squad and now finds himself in the best position a one-cut visionary runner could find himself in—competing for a roster spot in Gary Kubiak’s zone running scheme.
Now, everyone is on a relatively equal footing in the running back group—at least as far as Kubiak and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison are concerned. Draft allegiances and favoritism goes out the window—with the exception of C.J. Anderson and Montee Ball—with Kubiak and Dennison taking over.
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Bibbs has a great opportunity to make the final roster in 2015. Besides the top-two previously mentioned, nobody is a shoe-in for a job, and that includes Ronnie Hillman, who frankly isn’t a great fit in Kubiak’s scheme. Juwan Thompson may have beaten Bibbs out as a rookie, but this is a system created for runners like Bibbs.
He has a leg up in the competition. He’ll have to stay healthy, compete hard in training camp and produce in the preseason, but at the end of the day, the former JUCO star is likely to find himself on the Broncos final roster—at the expense of a former John Elway third round pick.