2016 NFL Draft: Denver Broncos GM John Elway and the rest of the front office manipulated the draft, the rest of the league, and got their QB…
From Kap to Pax: Finding a Quarterback for the Denver Broncos…
I feel like this entire offseason for John Elway and the Denver Broncos has been some sort of wild opus just waiting to be written about Peyton Manning retiring, Brock Osweiler leaving with bitterness on his heart, Colin Kaepernick trade rumors, a Mark Sanchez trade, and then finally the drafting of Paxton Lynch.
It’s been an incredible ride.
Someone — who has way too much time on their hands — could sift through my Twitter feed and find the entire gamut of emotions regarding the position. I was furious at the Mark Sanchez trade, and then I became suddenly at peace about it. I demanded a Kaepernick trade be made so I had the ability to sleep at night knowing we had someone with upside at QB, and then I felt like we should just draft someone.
Like I said, I haven’t set my heart and mind on any one solution for the Broncos this offseason — they all appealed to me. I think that’s the way John Elway approached it as well.
The Broncos knew they had to get someone capable of starting this year, so they spent a conditional future 7th round pick (also known as a sack of rocks) on Mark Sanchez.
I don’t care about the butt fumble — that’s a good trade.
Sanchez’s cap number is low, the price to get him to Denver was low, and not many QBs in the NFL have won four NFL road playoff games. Sanchez has.
We were all told that the situation surrounding the Broncos’ QB position could be resolved by early April when a bonus kicked in on the contract of Colin Kaepernick. Surely a deadline like that would spur the action needed to complete a trade. There was even a report from Adam Schefter that the Broncos and 49ers had agreed to compensation in a trade, and the financial aspect was all that had yet to be agreed upon.
Well, the trade didn’t happen, and it didn’t happen, and then later on — it didn’t happen.
The Denver Broncos — the reigning Super Bowl champions — went into the 2016 NFL Draft without a clear future at the QB position, and they weren’t picking 1st overall.
It’s a borderline unprecedented situation in the NFL, and off the top of my head, I can’t think of any Super Bowl champion that had no one in the plans for their future QB.
John Elway wasn’t worried.
Elway, as he often does, watched things play out for about half of the first round. He said that he started calling teams about a trade to move up the draft board when Atlanta was picking 17th.
The price was too steep.
Picks kept flying off the board, and Elway’s man was still on it. As the draft surged on, Paxton Lynch slipped past pick no. 25 and the Broncos could wait no longer. Sensing other teams behind them — in particular, the Dallas Cowboys — trying to move up to get Lynch as well, Elway made the Seahawks at pick 26 an offer they couldn’t refuse.
Elway offered picks 31 and 94 for 26, which is a high price to pay, but if they were willing to give up a 3rd for Kaepernick, why not Paxton Lynch?
The Broncos and Elway moved up to the 26th pick and got their franchise QB of the future. There’s no sure thing in the NFL Draft, but the elation in the Broncos’ draft room was palpable and unlike anything we’ve seen.
"You may have heard, but we picked up a QB tonight"
Here’s how his teammates welcomed him