Denver Broncos: Quarterback options for new GM George Paton
Denver Broncos QB options for new GM George Paton
2. 2021 NFL Draft prospects
This is going to be discussed at length over the course of the next three months, so we’re going to boil it down as simple as possible for the time being.
Drafting a quarterback is undoubtedly on the table for the Denver Broncos with a new general manager in place.
New coaches and general managers in the NFL do not have any emotional investment in previous draft selections at quarterback. Look at how savagely the Cardinals ripped Josh Rosen from his initial situation (a bad one) and shipped him off for Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury.
To a new GM, Drew Lock is a former second-round pick who has shown flashes of upside and as previously mentioned — improvement — who also contributed significantly to the Denver Broncos being the worst team in the NFL this past season at turning the football over.
Lock is 24 going on 25 in November 2021, and while he has obvious upside with his overall skills and talent level, Paton is going to have to decide whether Lock’s upside with his current body of work is worth passing on the 2021 class, or at least the guys realistically available to him.
While Trevor Lawrence is all but a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars at this point, the Denver Broncos could realistically have a shot at all of the remaining (presumed) top three quarterbacks: Ohio State’s Justin Fields, BYU’s Zach Wilson, and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
All three of those prospects have intriguing tools and would be worth selections in the first two rounds. Depending on who you ask, Lance is not necessarily a sure-fire first-round prospect, but he has solid all-around tools, excellent athleticism, and he’s known for being a very hard worker.
Wilson burst onto the scene for BYU this season with his huge arm and ability to make plays with his legs, but most impressive from Wilson all season was his truly instinctive playmaking. Frankly, his style of play is reminiscent of Drew Lock whether you want to look back at his Missouri tape or his tape with the Broncos in the NFL.
Fields may have the best all-around tools of the group in terms of size, arm talent, production, and athleticism. That’s partly why he’s considered by many the second-best QB in the draft, but that is not unanimous among NFL people who also like Wilson.
How much input Vic Fangio has in this decision could be significant. Fangio needs to win in 2021 in all likelihood to keep his job beyond this season.
Drafting a quarterback is never an exact science, and beyond Trevor Lawrence, are you going to get upgraded QB play out of this position in the short term? Does Paton want to attach his reputation as GM to whoever is left after the dust of the top five picks settles?
To me, this is not the wisest move, even with scouts apparently being somewhat down on the 2022 class already. A lot can change in a year.