Denver Broncos: Too early for Trevor Lawrence in 2021 talk?

Denver Broncos, Trevor Lawrence (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos, Trevor Lawrence (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Is it too early for Trevor Lawrence talk with the Denver Broncos?

The Denver Broncos are 0-3 to start the 2020 season after their worst loss yet to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home.

Along with an 0-3 start, the Broncos are about as beaten up injury-wise as any team in the NFL right now. That’s going to change rather quickly as Phillip Lindsay is set to return for the team’s week four matchup against the Jets, and other key starters like cornerback AJ Bouye and quarterback Drew Lock could be back as soon as the following game.

As the team gets healthier, wins could start coming again (just like they did in 2019), but for the time being, the Denver Broncos are projected to hold the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft behind the Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants.

With 13 games left to play, the final 2021 NFL Draft order is certainly going to change dramatically between now and next April, but with all of the crucial injuries the Broncos have suffered, it’s not unreasonable to be peeking at next year’s draft class.

Is it too early to start talking about Trevor Lawrence, the Clemson quarterback and crown jewel of the 2021 NFL Draft class?

Not if your team is 0-3 and struggling with critical injuries.

Drew Lock is still going to play in the 2020 season, so all of this could wind up being a moot point in the coming months just as it was in the 2020 offseason when the Broncos were projected to have a top five pick with only five games to play.

That’s how quickly things can change.

If Lock comes in and plays well, we’re not likely going to have to worry about whether the team would use a top five selection on a quarterback or Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, or even Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.

But let’s think about this for a moment.

If the Denver Broncos earn the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, it means Drew Lock either didn’t play well coming back from injury or was hurt yet again.

If either of those things happen, Lawrence is not only on the table, he has to be the easy selection in the top overall slot. There are very few teams with a realistic chance at the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft who would not take Lawrence there, the Cincinnati Bengals being one of them.

Because so much has been made of the quarterback carousel in Denver, no one wants to really talk about the idea of Lawrence or really any other quarterback coming in and starting over. Every Broncos fan would love to see Drew Lock emerge as ‘the guy’ to help the Broncos compete with Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the AFC West for the foreseeable future.

There is so much hypothetical here, but if Lock comes back and doesn’t play well enough for the Broncos to stay out of range for a quarterback like Lawrence or even Justin Fields and Trey Lance, it’s entirely possible that the Broncos will make yet another quarterback switch.

Hopefully, Lock will come back from his recent shoulder injury sooner rather than later, and he will prove once and for all why the Broncos decided to build their entire roster around him in the 2020 offseason. If he doesn’t, there are top-flight quarterbacks at the ready.

Lawrence, in particular, is one NFL executives cannot pass on.

Similar to Andrew Luck coming out of Stanford, Lawrence is the total package at the quarterback position when it comes to size, arm talent, physical skills, intangibles, poise, accuracy, mobility, and everything in between. He’s got room to improve just like every young player does, but Lawrence is a no-doubter, total package, easy number one pick kind of player.

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If the Broncos have the opportunity to draft him, there’s no way you can pass on that. Not for Penei Sewell, not for Drew Lock, not for anyone. If you get the number one pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, it’s Trevor Lawrence, no matter what.