The Denver Broncos have a great structure for a developmental QB
When the Denver Broncos brought in quarterback whisperer Rick Scangarello over from the San Francisco 49ers, it was a huge steal. Scangarello, operating under the direction of Kyle Shannahan, did some amazing things with his smorgus board of quarterbacks that featured a highly paid Jimmy Garoppollo, a former third-round draft pick in CJ Beathard, and an undrafted free agent in Nick Mullens.
When Garoppollo went down, it rightfully had 49er’s nation worried, and to be fair, the team stunk it up the rest of the season. Their quarterback situation, however, wasn’t all that bad.
CJ Beathard completed 60% of his passes as he threw for 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He finished with a quarterback rating of 81.8.
When Mullens took over due to an injury to Beathard, he proceeded to light it up. In his first career game on Thursday Night Football against the Oakland Raiders, Mullens threw for 262 yards and 3 touchdowns. He went on to throw for 2,277 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and a final QBR of 56.2. Also, don’t forget, this guy couldn’t even make an active roster after his collegiate career at Southern Miss ended.
What this means (and what I am assuming) is that Scangarello is pretty confident in his abilities to develop young quarterbacks regardless of draft position. In turn, this may encourage John Elway to lean more towards the best player available approach in the first round with an eye towards drafting a developmental prospect in the middle rounds.
Guys like West Virginia’s Will Grier, Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson (who came in for a visit), and Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham are just a few guys that come to mind that would be available with a non-first round pick.
So, will the Denver Broncos risk the opportunity to win now by gambling on a fringe first-round talent at quarterback with their 10th overall pick?
It sure doesn’t seem to look that way.