Denver Broncos: Quarterback options for new GM George Paton
There’s not exactly a “one size fits all” blueprint for being a general manager in the NFL. New Denver Broncos GM George Paton emphasized in his initial press release that he doesn’t want to take any shortcuts to finding success in Denver and that he believes in drafting and developing as his number one priority.
While that is great to hear and all, Paton’s assessment and ultimate decision regarding the quarterback position will be the most important decision he makes in his first two or three months on the job.
Having a new general manager in the building doesn’t mean the Denver Broncos 100 percent will move on from starter Drew Lock, but it could.
Each option available (realistically) to Paton in the 2021 offseason would have immediate and long-term consequences, and not just for him.
Let’s take a look through the quarterback options for the Broncos’ new GM and what the most prudent course of action might be.
1. Stick with Drew Lock, add a better “hedge”
The case for keeping Drew Lock around is not agreeable to every Denver Broncos fan.
Many Broncos fans have graded Lock on a curve and compared him to players like Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and a number of others who have had great success earlier in the development process.
Lock, to his credit, has not had consecutive years with the same offensive coordinator since his sophomore and junior years at Missouri. Imagine being shipped around the globe and being told you need to master your way around and speak a new language every year.
Digesting an NFL playbook is not unlike learning a new language completely, and as a quarterback, you’re expected to not only know the offense but be able to identify coverage and go through reads and progressions.
If cool heads prevail, it’s abundantly clear that, over the course of weeks 1-17 (with some hiccups along the way in the form of an injury and the Saints game/COVID issue) and especially over the final six games of the season Lock made clear and visible progression in his overall game, not only in terms of putting up better numbers but showing a better understanding of the Pat Shurmur offense and identifying coverages.
If you have not yet taken the time, take a deep dive into Tim Jenkins’ YouTube channel for a full 2020 season review of Lock’s games and go through all of the individual game breakdowns as well.
Each game breakdown has a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ section and there is no question that Lock has plenty to work on, but his issues are easily correctible and another year in Pat Shurmur’s offense should do wonders for him and everyone else around him.
It does seem clear, at this point, that the Broncos will bring in a better “hedge” for Lock than Jeff Driskel. This hedge would likely be a veteran quarterback who has proven they can start (and win) games in case Lock struggles badly or is hurt.
Some names to watch here would be Jacoby Brissett, Mitch Trubisky, Andy Dalton, Nick Foles, or Tyrod Taylor. Those players all have achieved some form of success in the NFL and would be much better options behind Lock if the Broncos feel the roster is at a place to be competitive and QB play is the primary issue they are not.