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Uncertainty over Javonte Williams could result in Broncos drafting another running back

From the Bears vs. Packers to the Steelers vs. Browns, Mike Florio and Myles Simmons name which rivalries they'd love to see flip.

The Broncos added running back Samaje Perine in free agency, due in part to the 2022 torn ACL suffered by Javonte Williams. With no real clarity as to Williams’s recovery, the Broncos could still bolster the position during the upcoming draft.

“Javonte is doing really well in his rehab,” G.M. George Paton said Thursday, at the team’s pre-draft press conference. “We don’t have a date, but we feel good. We feel good that he’ll be back this season. We’re not entirely sure when. He’s progressing very well.”

So could they pick a running back this year?

“If there’s a runner there -- no matter what point of the draft -- and he’s the best player on our board, we’ll take a running back, that’s for sure,” Paton said. “Like I said earlier with free agency, we addressed enough needs where we can take the best players throughout the draft. We do not need to reach.”

Coach Sean Payton would agree with that approach, given that he had a great running back slip down the board six years ago, when the Saints had Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson on the roster.

“We felt like with the top two guys, we were in a good position,” Payton said Thursday. “Then [Alvin] Kamara fell. We traded back into it [round three] and drafted Alvin. Those are value decisions. That’s the significance of the free-agency process, and George alluded to it a little bit. You’re hoping that you free yourself up a little bit to give yourself more flexibility in the draft so you’re not taking the toaster over the double oven.”

The Broncos could use several solid kitchen appliances in 2023, especially if Payton if able to fix the refrigerator for whom the Broncos splurged a year ago.