Since John Elway came aboard the Denver Broncos train as a front office executive in 2011, the team has added Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler, and Zac Dysert to the fray at the quarterback position, and appears to be set for the foreseeable future as far as that area of the team is concerned.
Not so fast, my friends.
Come time for next May’s NFL Draft, the theme around the league will be “2014: Year of the QB” as far as incoming NFL prospects are concerned.
You look at the crop of players potentially coming out this year, and you talk about guys like Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr, Zach Mettenberger, Tajh Boyd…I mean, I’m leaving big name players off the list here.
Most notably, I’m leaving the name A.J. McCarron off the list, and that’s because he so often seems to be left of the list of people analyzing the draft and college football nowadays, but I simply can’t go on ignoring that guy’s ability to win ball games.
I have to say, this season I am incredibly impressed by a few guys. Namely, I’m really blown away with what I’ve seen from Teddy Bridgewater dating back to the end of the 2012 season. He ought to be the first overall pick to a team that needs a QB. I am also really impressed with Marcus Mariota, who could also be a number one overall pick candidate if not this year, potentially in 2015.
There are some guys I would like to see the Broncos keep their eye on, especially with the current depth status of the roster. I would very closely monitor the whereabouts of Johnny Manziel, and I would seriously consider using a top 100 selection on Alabama signal caller A.J. McCarron.
I wrote about McCarron at length on NFLMocks.com, and I just can’t get over the fact that this guy could be available in the third round or possibly later. Right now, McCarron’s ranking across the web ranges from late first round to fourth round, and I think he’ll fall somewhere in between. You might think it’s asinine to think the Broncos should look at another QB in this draft after using two picks on QBs the last two years, but a guy like McCarron possibly being available in the third round is something you have to at least consider if you’re John Elway.
Much like every other player at every other position, the Broncos will scout McCarron going into the 2014 NFL Draft. Heck, they may even bring him into Denver for a visit, who knows?
One thing is for certain, the Broncos need insurance to make sure they have “the guy” ready when Peyton Manning calls it a career, and while the belief is that Brock Osweiler is the guy, he’s done little to inspire critics in limited action over the last two years, and while I’m certainly willing to be patient with him, I’m not opposed to the Broncos taking a long look at McCarron, one of the best winners in college football.
In my piece on McCarron for NFLMocks, I made the claim that he would be best served going to a team with a winning culture, and there aren’t many better situations for him than going to a team led by Peyton Manning, one of the greatest of all-time. McCarron is one of the smartest QBs in the league, and he hasn’t really gotten a chance to sling the ball around but when he does, he usually does pretty well.
The NFL is a passing league, and since most people haven’t seen McCarron throw 35-40 passes for a string of games, they don’t really believe he can hold up with that kind of pressure or workload, which is understandable.
I’m interested to see how his career in the NFL plays out, be it with the Broncos or someone else, but again I’ll say it–I don’t think the Broncos are exempt from drafting a QB in 2014 because I think this is the best QB class that will come around in a while in terms of the overall depth of the class, and the fact that you might be able to get a heck of a value like McCarron with a pick close to 100.
If the Broncos are willing to make it a true competition, McCarron wouldn’t be a bad pickup and potential option for the future to compete with Brock Osweiler.
You never know, maybe one of those guys could net the Broncos some extra draft picks as well.
Either way, I think it’s an interesting thought to consider.