Denver Broncos: Why John Elway must be right about Drew Lock

Denver Broncos GM John Elway. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos GM John Elway. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Why Denver Broncos general manager John Elway must be right about Drew Lock.

John Elway has been the general manager of the Denver Broncos since 2011. His first-ever draft selection? All-Pro, Pro Bowler, and future Hall of Fame pass rusher Von Miller.

Elway was a driving force in bringing another future Hall of Famer onboard back in 2012 in Peyton Manning. Part of that process was moving on from former first-rounder Tim Tebow. Tebow, of course, was a fan favorite in Broncos Country and was the quarterback who threw the pass to Demaryius Thomas in overtime of a playoff game in 2011 to move them on to the next round.

The move to sign Manning ultimately was a big part of the 2014 free agent class, when the team was able to sign cornerback Aqib Talib, linebacker DeMarcus Ware, safety T.J. Ward and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. It didn’t take long for the team to make it to the Super Bowl after that draft class.

The move to sign Manning was Elway’s biggest achievement, even if it wasn’t necessarily the team’s biggest achievement.

But since then, the Broncos have gone through a bunch of quarterbacks. After the retirement of Manning, the Broncos turned to Trevor Siemian and 2016 first-round draft bust Paxton Lynch, to adding Brock Osweiler into the mix (he was drafted in 2012 but played four games in 2017), to a full 16 games in 2018 from Case Keenum, and last year’s fiasco with Joe Flacco, Brandon Allen, and Drew Lock.

Outside of Manning, the quarterback who has played the most games for the Broncos in Elway’s tenure is former seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian out of Northwestern. Siemian started 24 games between 2016 and 2017. Even though he was decent, he didn’t produce the way a team would want a long-term guy to play.

Fast forward to 2020, when the team went all-in with Lock. Lock has shown some nice things for the team in the games that he has been able to play in. He’s also shown some troubling things. He’s also been injured.

How much time will the Broncos give Lock to try and prove that he’s their long-term starter? How much longer will Elway be the general manager of the Broncos?

The two questions I just asked are hugely connected. The future of Elway depends on Lock. That makes me wonder how long the team will give Lock to prove he’s the guy.

When it comes draft time, when the Broncos draft a quarterback or possibly make a draft day trade for one, that could signal the end of Lock’s tenure with the team. Or at least it will give him one last chance to show he has improved.

It would make sense for Elway’s sake if they stayed with Lock for a number of years. That would really give a true indication of what Lock is. Elway would want that to happen, too. Moving on from Lock would admit another failure at the quarterback position.

We’ve seen success from a player many thought would just another first-round bust in left tackle Garett Bolles but he miraculously turned things around in 2020. We’ve seen a 180 from defensive end-turned-linebacker-turned-defensive end DeMarcus Walker.

It’s the quarterback position that has continued to haunt Elway & and the Denver Broncos since the retirement of Manning.

Something that I found interesting the other day is that on former NFL punter Pat McAfee’s radio show, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport had to quickly leave the show due to getting a phone call. It was regarding the release of Dwayne Haskins.

However, one of the people McAfee was talking to tried to guess what the news was and the thing he came up with was the firing of Vic Fangio and/or John Elway.

I think that at this point, right now, it makes no sense to clean house if you’re the Broncos because this is a team that is young and had a rough year regarding injuries.

They need some more time to work their craft and get better. That wouldn’t happen if Elway/Fangio were fired.

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It will be interesting to see how long these two Broncos stay with the team. Their time with the team is related to one another.