Denver Broncos Latest Draft and Free-Agency Rumors

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Justin Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Justin Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Quarterback Alex Smith could be a smart signing by the Denver Broncos.
Jan 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) passes the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Alex Smith is the free-agent quarterback that isn’t getting talked about enough. He is someone I would actually consider bringing in under the scenario that Denver Broncos:

  1. Were not able to land Justin Fields or Trey Lance
  2. Did not actually fall in love with any of the draft prospects this year
  3. Were not able to get a trade done with the Jacksonville Jaguars for Gardner Minshew

Smith, a highly capable bridge quarterback would be a 17-year veteran who is a former number one overall pick. His career started off a bit rocky with the San Fransisco 49ers, but a trade to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013 helped jumpstart his career.

He has missed two seasons throughout his career, one with a shoulder injury back in 2008, but more recently and importantly in 2018 with the serious infection in his leg. The infection was actually life-threatening and put his future in serious doubt, life and in football.

While his stats are certainly those of a game-manager, I’d consider him the more talented of the group that includes Bridgewater and Foles. He has been the most consistent, and if the Broncos brass does not select a premium quarterback and puts their faith in Drew Lock for one more year, I’d prefer Smith to be the one who is behind Lock as he at minimum, started the majority of his career.

He has also been well respected and liked in the locker room, something that is a valuable quality in a veteran, mentor quarterback like Smith. Pat Shurmur’s offense is also off of the Andy Reid tree, which Smith had his most successful years under during the span of 2013-2017. During those five years, he tossed 102 touchdowns in comparison to only 33 interceptions. That holds up to be a 3:1 TD: INT ratio, which is highly impressive.

This would be the last resort in my opinion, so if the Broncos are unable to draft Fields or Lance, or even trade for Minshew, this is when I would turn to Alex Smith. He shouldn’t be too expensive and is an outright free agent that would require zero draft capital in return.

If the Denver Broncos took this route, the most important aspect of this would fall back to the draft.  If they do not select a quarterback in the top 10 of this year’s draft, then I would highly suggest trading back in round one. This could be vital to the team’s future, adding a future first-round pick would be my top priority.

With a trade back or two, the Broncos could add a future first, as well as extra day two picks this year. While the Broncos don’t have glaring needs right now, they do have to add some future contributors in the following positions:

  1. Cornerback

  2. Offensive Tackle

  3. Linebacker

  4. Safety

  5. Edge Rusher

In the 2021 NFL Draft, the meat of this group is on day two. If the Broncos were able to address the top 5 positions I mentioned above by the end of day two, this draft could still be very important, regardless of adding a quarterback. Trading back, giving Drew Lock one more shot as he deserves, and adding Alex Smith would set this team up for 2022. This scenario would play out just fine in my opinion.

If the Broncos decide to bring in Minshew or Smith, they can continue to fill this roster out by trading back in the draft. This would give the 2022 Denver Broncos flexibility to maneuver the NFL Draft, or even give them ammunition to trade for a current quarterback if one were to come available. Imagine coming out of this draft with the additions of players like Jamin Davis or Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Greg Newsome II, and Richie Grant to an already stout defense.

If we learned anything from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ latest Lombardi hoisting, it’s that the best defense to stop Patrick Mahomes is a very fast, phenomenal defense. That isn’t to sound like captain obvious, but I think a lot of people get stuck in this world where they try to compete point for point with the rival Kansas City Chiefs, instead of literally throwing everything in to keep them down.

The Broncos could also add a few pieces to the offensive side of the ball in this scenario. Studs like Javonte Williams and a talented offensive tackle should be on the table here for Coach Mike Munchak to develop. In addition, trading back should also warrant a future first-round pick, and all of this could simply be had by the end of day two of the 2021 NFL Draft.

On the contrary, Fields or Lance gives the Broncos a highly talented prospect. Both of these quarterbacks could eventually become superstars in their own respects, but if it had to be done via trade up, it could wind up being very risky. As a former scout, if Paton falls in love with one of these prospects, I have faith in his decision, but I’m leaning towards Fields.

Ultimately, I have my opinion just like many others in Broncos Country, but I still reside on giving Drew Lock one more shot. He should remain on this roster while entertaining the idea of signing Alex Smith, trading an early day three pick for Gardner Minshew, or trading up for Justin Fields.

This team is close, but I still believe the Broncos could use one more solid draft class to be able to make a serious push on the Kansas City Chiefs. Adding Justin Fields, or trading back and multiplying picks could solidify this haul, and be the final piece to the puzzle.