After the Denver Broncos’ diamond in the rough buried himself, when will John Elway look to draft another quarterback?
The Denver Broncos do not appear to have their quarterback of the future currently on the roster.
By no means is this meant as a degradation of Case Keenum. Keenum is actually having a really nice stretch of games lately, and that gets lost in the shuffle a bit when your team is losing six of its last seven games (ironically, one of Keenum’s worst games in that stretch was the win against Arizona).
Even with Keenum’s improved play in recent weeks, the Broncos can’t fool themselves into thinking they don’t need quarterback help.
They definitely do.
The Broncos need to make a substantial investment in the quarterback position, but how will John Elway go about it? It’s not like he’s been lights out at picking quarterbacks in the NFL Draft.
Though, it should be known that Elway has also never been in a position to take the quarterback he covets most, and has shown a lot of wisdom in passing on certain players at the top of the draft in the two years he’s been given the chance to maybe reach on someone (2011, 2018).
In 2011, Elway might have taken Cam Newton over Von Miller but passed on all of the other quarterbacks that ended up getting taken high in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft (Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, and Christian Ponder all top 12 picks) and did the same thing in 2018 (Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, and Lamar Jackson all taken in the first round).
When Elway has tried for value at quarterback, however, it has mostly backfired. Since 2012, Elway has drafted Brock Osweiler, Zac Dysert, Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, and Chad Kelly. Siemian was probably the best of that bunch statistically speaking for the Broncos, and Osweiler’s only significant contribution came at a critical time when he played in relief of Peyton Manning in 2015, helping the Broncos win five of the seven games he started.
Still, expectations in the NFL are high, and the expectation when you draft a quarterback in the first or second round is that those players become starters.
The Broncos have not developed a long-term starter at the quarterback position through the NFL Draft under Elway’s watch. That’s the ugly reality, but Elway will likely have some more chances in the next two years to right the wrongs of his past.
I want to explore some options Elway has moving forward to address the position. It’s not going to be an easy task but the Broncos should keep an open mind.