Should the Broncos Draft a Quarterback, or Stick With Brock Osweiler?


Peyton Manning will be the Denver Broncos starting quarterback next season.

Duh. Nobody is disputing that.

It’s what lies beyond Manning that is still murky.

Roughly a week ago, it was reported via ESPN’s Mike Rodak that the Broncos offered former-Baltimore Ravens backup Tyrod Taylor a hefty contract, one that exceeded the deal made to him by the team Taylor ultimately signed with, that being the Buffalo Bills.

"Taylor signed a three-year deal that could void to a two-year deal and earn Taylor as much as $7 million over those two years if he emerges as the Bills’ starter, a source said.The Denver Broncos offered Taylor a richer deal, the source said, but he decided to sign with the Bills instead. Taylor’s contract with the Bills includes $1.2 million in guaranteed money."

Interesting, no?

Taylor is not just any quarterback on the market. He played under Gary Kubiak last season in Baltimore and anyone that has watched him play knows that he has serious starter potential. It wouldn’t be surprising whatsoever to see the fifth-year product out of Virginia Tech end up as the leading signal-caller in Buffalo come the start of next season.

At any rate, this all begs the recurring question: Does general manager John Elway truly trust Brock Osweiler as the quarterback of the future?

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Elway consistently says all the right things about Osweiler, that he’s done everything asked of him and that he’s progressed every year he’s been in the league, but does Elway actually believe in his “replacement” to Manning? Is Elway pulling a Chip Kelly-esque fast one on Broncos Country?

The answer to those questions is still unknown, but after the failed attempt at Taylor, especially considering that the Broncos have regularly only kept two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, it doesn’t inspire too much confidence in who will take the reins when Manning calls it quits.

So, if the Broncos are to move in a different direction as to who they want to take over for Manning, it must start in the NFL draft, for free agency is almost a predictable wash at the quarterback position year after year.

Given the sudden effort at signing Taylor, it’d be easy to see Elway pick a quarterback or trade-up in this year’s draft for one. He’d be unwise to wait until the 2016 draft solely because talent is extremely lacking when it comes to the quarterback department.

Let’s meet the Broncos best options at quarterback in the draft

With the 28th pick in the draft, the Broncos would have to trade-up in order to secure a top selection that would allow them to nab either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota.

It’s a stretch, but as long as Elway is in control, anything is possible in Denver.

Winston, who’s projected by most to be the first pick in the draft, is really out of the question and likely never was in John Elway’s mind. The polarizing quarterback’s off the field issues alone are enough to lead Elway astray.

If put in the right situation and offensive scheme, Mariota has all the tools necessary to grow and succeed in the NFL. He’s mature beyond his years and the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner has the elite athleticism, arm strength, and rare intangibles that all make him an enticing option. His accuracy is the only thing that could use some work and that can improve over time.

Oct 18, 2014; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) runs the ball against the Washington Huskies at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from Mariota, there are two sleeper picks at quarterback that are more realistic for Elway and the Broncos.

Garrett Grayson had a nice four-year career at Colorado State before graduating. He wasn’t spectacular in college, but showed nice arm strength and touch that is coveted in the pros. Grayson was able to maximize his value in practices for the Senior Bowl, so much so that it was revealed that the Broncos became pretty impressed with him.

On almost the complete opposite end of the spectrum sits Brett Hundley. There’s been a mixed bag of reviews on Hundley, mainly in regards to his accuracy and lack of poise and pocket presence.

If either Grayson or Hundley are available in the second/third round, look for the Broncos to possibly make a move for one of the quarterbacks.

Similarly to Mariota, Hundley is also athletically gifted. Even if it is to a fault at times, he has the innate ability to sense pressure and scramble out of the pocket for big plays. It’s difficult to see Elway picking a project like the former UCLA Bruin, but if he progresses in a backup role, Hundley has the potential to be a solid starter in the NFL.

Rounding out this tier of quarterbacks is former Baylor Bear Bryce Petty. Some serious time and patience are needed with Petty and his ceiling is projected by most to be no higher than a career backup role.


All things considered, Winston will never don an orange and navy-blue uniform and Mariota is an obvious long shot.

Although, if either Grayson or Hundley are available in the second/third round, look for the Broncos to possibly make a move for one of the quarterbacks.

Elway has options in terms of what he wants to do at quarterback when Manning retires. Whether he decides to stick with Brock Osweiler or take a chance on a quarterback in the draft, only time will tell what direction Elway decides to go in.