Just a few months away from the 2019 NFL Draft and NFL Free Agency, expect the Denver Broncos to be aggressive looking for a quarterback.
One of the major question marks over the last few seasons with the Denver Broncos is at the position of quarterback. It has been a revolving door ever since the great Peyton Manning left the building.
Finding someone to play at a Hall of Fame level is a difficult, excruciatingly long process. Just ask the Cleveland Browns. The Browns were once the laughing stock of the NFL, but they nailed a first overall draft pick in Baker Mayfield.
The Denver Broncos have drafted only one quarterback in John Elway’s tenure during the first round. The name forever lives in Broncos Country infamy: Paxton Lynch.
The pressure of taking a quarterback in the first round of the draft takes guts to pull off. Remember, the Broncos were a pay cut away from Colin Kaepernick being on the roster that season.
All of that uncertainty lingered into draft nightThe ship sailed to Lynch. The team needed to make that trade at the time. The Dallas Cowboys were one of the teams wanting Lynch as bad as Denver. As fate would have it, the Cowboys took Dak Prescott in the later rounds.
We should not hate the Broncos for making the decision to acquire Paxton Lynch and move assets to get the first round quarterback. It was up to Lynch to put the work in. That never materialized.
Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, and Chad Kelly were drafted as developmental pieces. Osweiler and Siemian had the opportunity to learn under Manning.
Osweiler was a key contributor in leading Denver to Super Bowl 50 with a 5-2 record for an important stretch in that season. He earned the money given to him by the Houston Texans.
The Broncos ponied up with a strong offer to keep Osweiler. That also never happened. Again, Denver did everything it could to keep Osweiler in the Mile High City. Osweiler made the decisions to skip ring ceremony, White House visit, and take the large contract to move to Houston.
As for Siemian, he played well for a decent first season taking over for Manning. Siemian did have moments under pressure where he failed to meet expectations downfield or even in the pocket. It unfortunately carried over onto the next season and Lynch failed to see the field. Siemian could not take the Denver Broncos over the hump as a team, leading them to sign Case Keenum in 2018.
Kelly was a talented prospect, but had a checkered past and unfortunately, that became his downfall. There was a chance Kelly could have been a top-75 prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft, but because of the off-field concerns, he fell to the Mr. Irrelevant selection.
Kelly did play well in the preseason and had the work ethic to make a quarterback interesting. The off-field stuff reared its ugly head again forcing the Broncos to cut ties with him. This is more the player’s fault, not the team. The Broncos took a chance, but Kelly couldn’t change his habits.
Keenum has been a journeyman quarterback. But for one full season with the Minnesota Vikings, he became an MVP candidate and was instrumental to the “Minneapolis Miracle”. That will be forever remembered as one of the best moments in team history.
Keenum headed to NFL Free Agency where the Denver Broncos wanted to jump into the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes initially. However, it would never come to fruition. For financial reasons, the Broncos made the right decision to pass on Cousins.
Cousins also missed the playoffs with Minnesota. I guess that’s a win-win.
This season was the same old story with the Denver Broncos and the quarterback position. Keenum struggled to keep moving his feet in the pocket or maintain consistency throwing past the sticks.
Much like Siemian before him, Keenum felt comfortable throwing five yards. This is puzzling. Keenum in Minnesota took necessary chances with Stefan Diggs, Adam Theilen, Kyle Rudolph and others. His only deep downfield were throws to Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders. He is more than capable of doing this and running a more explosive passing attack.
There is a problem though. Keenum is a short-term fix. That is according to John Elway. It is hard to blame him. Keenum is not the long solution in Denver. The Broncos’ offense needs updating with college quarterback schemes and implementing them immediately.
With everything laid out above, Denver needs to be aggressive in pursuit of a quarterback. It is unclear what the future holds for Case Keenum in Denver, but making it a priority to draft a quarterback high is of utmost importance.