Knowshon Moreno fights Denver Broncos bust label


Training camp is finally almost here. They allow tackling there and everything. Around the League will count down the top 30 position battles to watch throughout the preseason.

No. 28. Denver Broncos RBs: Knowshon Moreno vs. the "bust" label

Top 30 training camp position battles

No. 30: Seahawks running backs
No. 29: Packers No. 3 receiver
No. 28: Broncos backup running back
No. 27: Bengals cornerbacks
No. 26: Raiders backup quarterback
No. 25: Cardinals receiver
No. 24: Jets right tackle
No. 23: Jets linebacker
No. 22: Redskins running back
No. 21: Giants No. 3 receiver
No. 20: Patriots receiver
No. 19: Colts tight end
No. 18: Rams receivers
No. 17: Jaguars quarterbacks
No. 16: Bears wide receivers
No. 15: NFL safety battles
No. 14: Jaguars No. 2 receiver
No. 13: Bears left tackle
No. 12: Randy Moss vs. Father time
No. 11: Lions receivers
No. 10: Cardinals running back
No. 9: Ravens pass rusher
No. 8: Dolphins quarterback
No. 7: Buccaneers running back
No. 6: Steelers defensive end
No. 5: Dolphins wide receiver
No. 4: Cardinals quarterback
No. 3: The Oakland Raiders
No. 2: Titans quarterback
No. 1: Seahawks quarterback

• Welcome to Knowshon Moreno's make-or-break training camp. The 2009 first-round pick has enjoyed a loose leash in Denver, despite seeing his production tumble in each of his first three seasons. Moreno is hanging on for dear life in a crowded backfield, but this battle could boil down to whether or not coach John Fox and Co. believe he's worth a roster spot.

• Moreno is working his way back from the torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered in 2011. He was on the field for Denver's organized team activities this spring, but didn't set himself apart. We typically don't see backs return from torn ACLs and increase their production. Moreno isn't a valuable contributor on special teams and there have been whispers he could start the year on the PUP list.

• Willis McGahee is your starter here. Behind him, the Broncos drafted rookie running back Ronnie Hillman, an elusive third-down back who can catch the ball. John Elway compared Hillman to Darren Sproles and Denver sees him as a good fit alongside McGahee. Lance Ball produced on the spot last season, and he's capable of third-string duties. The other reserves -- Jeremiah Johnson, Mario Fannin are Xavier Omon -- are fringe prospects. An injury to this group could help Moreno's case.

Projected winner: Ronnie Hillman -- Elway's boy -- will earn a spot behind McGahee. Moreno can impact his future with a solid camp, but we wouldn't be surprised to see him released by the team before the season.