In case you’re looking for another reason to freak out about the Broncos quarterback situation this morning, I’ll present another fascinating option. Over at NFLMocks.com, I put together a brand new first round NFL mock draft and thought to myself, what is something I could see John Elway doing this year that would shock the NFL world, but that would still make some sense?
The conclusion I came to was this — what if Elway takes a quarterback? Again?
What if the Broncos go out in free agency and spend all their excess cash on offensive line, and decide they can wait until the later rounds to address issues elsewhere. What if Peyton Manning leaves and the Broncos are left with Osweiler and Dysert?
Well, in all likelihood, the Broncos will take a long look at the quarterbacks in this year’s class, and the fact that Elway has hired a new coaching staff and all new philosophies will be employed indicates to me that this regime could look at another QB in the draft if Manning leaves and the right guy falls.
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It might not be in the first round, but it wouldn’t be the first time Elway has flirted with other first round quarterbacks before the draft and it certainly wouldn’t be out of the question for the Broncos at this point in time to do so.
That’s why I predicted the Broncos to take UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, as crazy as it might sound at this point in time, because I think with Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison coming aboard, there’s at least a chance the Broncos could be left with facing the reality of life without Peyton Manning. It would be an abrupt ending, and I don’t necessarily think it’s going to happen but I do think it’s possible, and with a late first round pick, getting a guy like Hundley is a big coup for the Broncos.
Hundley was, as of two years ago, one of the hottest young QB prospects in all the land, and was considered a future number one overall pick if he continued to progress. What happened was that Hundley, a fourth year junior this past season at UCLA, didn’t necessarily show signs of regression, but he did show inconsistency and enough to the point that he was pushed down boards far enough to be considered a fringe first round prospect.
The fact is, guys with his kind of upside don’t last that long on draft weekend, and if he should make it to the later portion of the first round, the Broncos will have a decision to make between grabbing a quarterback that has No. 1 pick potential or an offensive lineman who might not even be in the top five of his position group in this year’s class.
We all know that Elway loves quarterbacks, and now with Kubiak helping make decisions, you have literally two quarterbacks in charge of making decisions for the Broncos. First and foremost, I think Elway and Kubiak are going to set out to make rebuilding the offensive line the top priority this offseason to entice Peyton Manning to be excited about coming back, but also to build for the future.
That said, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them create as much competition as is possible going forward at the quarterback position, and taking someone like Hundley in the late first round with nine other picks (four expected compensatory picks in 2015) I think the Broncos could very easily address all other needs appropriately. Taking another mid-round quarterback isn’t going to do any good, and as we saw with Tim Tebow, just using a first round pick on one doesn’t necessarily mean anything either.
I still think it would be foolish to rule out the Broncos taking a quarterback in the first round this year, no matter what they say about the progress being made by Brock Osweiler and Zac Dysert.
The fact of the matter is, Hundley is a 6-3, 227 pound kid with a strong arm, phenomenal athletic ability, and a good amount of experience against some of the best competition in college football playing in the Pac 12. What worries me most about him is the fact that he took over 100 sacks in three seasons, which was the most among active quarterbacks. The Broncos are a great fit for Hundley because he will likely be getting out of the pocket plenty in Kubiak’s offense and able to make plays with his legs when he needs to.
I think this would be an intriguing pick for the Broncos and it’s something I can’t rule out.