Broncos involvement in Matthew Stafford trade talks – Drew Lock impact
Matthew Stafford and the 2021 NFL Draft
There were a number of Broncos fans who came out on Twitter after the report that Denver was involved in Matthew Stafford trade talks who feel like their involvement absolutely means the Broncos are moving on from Drew Lock and actively seeking that quarterback upgrade through every possible avenue.
The Broncos’ pursuit of Stafford, however, should be viewed as mutually exclusive of how “in” they will be on 2021 NFL Draft prospects.
Stafford is a veteran who will be 33 years old this season. He’s played at a relatively high level since he came into the league in 2009. Those types of players don’t always become available, so the Broncos would have been fools not to call Detroit to find out the asking price.
If Stafford was available for the right price, that is worth a call and worth the chance to acquire the player. Does that mean that the Broncos are undoubtedly looking toward the 2021 NFL Draft class in the first round now? No. Those two things are separate because the players in question are vastly different.
The 2021 NFL Draft class does not necessarily present the Denver Broncos with an immediate upgrade over Drew Lock in the form of a known commodity (which Stafford is). Trevor Lawrence will be off the board with the first pick to Jacksonville.
Zach Wilson looks like he’s pulled away as QB and pick two of the 2021 NFL Draft, whether the Jets keep that pick or ultimately trade it to the Houston Texans for Deshaun Watson.
That leaves the Broncos with Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and possibly Mac Jones atop this year’s quarterback crop.
Those guys are all talented, but each also has their own individual struggles and shortcomings. Fields struggles with processing speed and that was evident in games against Indiana, Northwestern, and Alabama in the National Championship game.
Lance has a 17-game sample at North Dakota State where he was on team Goliath that trounced every opponent in its path. In that 17 game sample, Lance had a completion percentage of 56.5 percent or worse six times. Yes, he has tremendous mobility and is a threat to run, but are you banking your job as the GM in year one on that upside?
Mac Jones, for his athletic limitations, doesn’t seem to have any real glaring flaws in his game. But he doesn’t have the same type of arm talent as the stars in the NFL today, nor can he create as a runner like some of them can. He’s “just” a good pocket passer, offense operator, and hard worker. Who knows, maybe he’s the most sensible option in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Broncos’ pursuit of Matthew Stafford doesn’t mean the team is for sure interested in the 2021 NFL Draft crop of quarterbacks. What it means is, if the right veteran is available for the right price, the team might be interested.