Step aside, Mr. Irrelevant.
There’s a new NFL Draft lore brewing here in the Centennial State, and it might be an even better determinant of future success than Mel Kiper’s Big Board:
NFL personnel departments are sleeping on Colorado prep running backs.
Max Borghi – TBD
It started five years ago with Eaton High alum Austin Ekeler, a Western Colorado product who naturally flew under the radar playing at the Division II level.
Then it continued a year later with Denver South’s Phillip Lindsay, who failed to turn heads after tearing up the Pac-12 in his final two seasons with the CU Buffs (3,476 total yards and 32 hits).
Now it’s the turn of Pomona graduate Max Borghi.
Despite a four-year run at Washington State that included a career average of 5.8 yards per carry and three seasons with 12-plus touchdowns, Borghi was undrafted last weekend, as was Ekeler. and Lindsay before him. (He later signed as a free agent with Indianapolis).
And, much like its predecessors, the staff of Grading the Week slyly suspect that several teams will later regret it.
Could we interest you in back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and a Pro Bowl nod? That’s what Lindsay did in her first two years with the Broncos. How about two years with over 1,500 total yards and double-digit touchdowns? Ekeler was successful after taking Melvin Gordon’s job with the Chargers.
Add the two Colorado prep guards who were actually drafted the previous five years — Valor Christian’s Christian McCaffrey (2017, Panthers, 8th overall pick) and Falcon’s Kalen Ballage (2018, Dolphins, 131st) — and the picture only becomes clearer: it’s rarely a bad idea to add a Coloradan to your rear running room.
Could Borghi — whose all-around skills are similar to those of Ekeler and McCaffrey — could follow the same trajectory if the Colts had the chance? That’s a big “if” given the Colts’ loaded RB depth chart (that Jonathan Taylor guy is pretty good), but we’re definitely not going to bet against him.
The success rate of Front Range prospects is too good to ignore.
A week ago, the staff of Grading the Week lobbied pretty hard for Brendan Rodgers’ demotion to Triple-A.
Then the Rockies second baseman quickly went 6 for 16 with two doubles, a home run, four runs and eight RBIs over his next four games. Of course, we’ll take full credit for that.
Kidding aside, it’s safe to say that everything Rodgers suffered during his April 4 for 51 was put to rest.
While it remains troubling that a cornerstone of Colorado’s future has a job that suggests an extreme streak — plus, he’s still hitting .149 this season — it’s equally impressive that he can get away with it if rapidly.
It’s not easy to get over prolonged bouts of failure…as the staff at Grading the Week know all too well.
Connor Ingram — A-
Nashville goaltender Connor Ingram saved a lot of things with his extraordinary performance in Game 2 against Colorado on Thursday night inside the Ball Arena:
✔️ 49 avalanche shots
✔️ The bacon of the Predators (especially)
✔️ Private Ryan (maybe)
✔️ The possibility of a Game 5
A hell of a performance. And yet, still not good enough to beat the Avs.