Oregon running back Royce Freeman was drafted in the third round, No. 71 overall, by the Denver Broncos on Friday at the 2018 NFL Draft.
The former Duck finished his career as not only Oregon’s all-time rush-leader with 5,621 yards, but as the Pac-12 leader as well.
Freeman leaves Eugene with his name filling both Oregon and the Pac-12’s record books. He is Oregon’s all-time leader in total touchdowns (64), rushing touchdowns (60), all-purpose yards, points scored, 100-yard games and carries. He rushed for over 1,000 yards three times in his career, including 1,475 yards last season with the Ducks. He also ranked tenth in the country in rushing yards last season.
The four-year contributor is also Oregon’s first player drafted since 2016 when the San Francisco 49ers picked defensive lineman DeForest Buckner (first round) and the Philadelphia Eagles picked linebacker Joe Walker (seventh round). Freeman is also the first running back out of Oregon picked since the 49ers picked LaMichael James in 2012 when James was selected No. 61 overall.
In a playing-time perspective for the Broncos, Freeman will get chances right away. Denver’s leading-rusher last season, C.J. Anderson, is currently a free agent. Backs that will compete with Freeman are former Utah running back Devontae Booker and De’Angelo Henderson.
Offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby is yet to be selected in the draft, but he is expected to get picked anytime now.
Royce Freeman had a tremendous career at Oregon and is our 3rd round pick. He's a big, physical runner who will fit in well in our backfield. pic.twitter.com/Cqq11cdVTL
— John Elway (@johnelway) April 28, 2018
— Mario Cristobal (@coach_cristobal) April 28, 2018
Royce Freeman could be one of the draft's biggest surprises when we see him suit up for the @Broncos . We always talk about finding quality RBs in the 2nd- and 3rd round. Freeman could be the Day 2 RB that we talk about at the end of the season like Hunt/Kamara #NFLDraft
— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) April 28, 2018
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