Denver Broncos: Quarterback situation seems filled with hypocrisy

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Trey Lance. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Trey Lance. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) /

The quarterback situation with the Denver Broncos is ugly, but it could get uglier in the coming months and years. Scrolling through Broncos Country on Twitter and Facebook has led me to conclude that it’s roughly an even split among those who want the team to keep Lock and those who want the Denver Broncos to draft a quarterback to replace him.

Both opinions are fair, but I wanted to dive into why one opinion, in particular, might turn into a giant mess in the near future.

Those who believe the Denver Broncos should move off of Lock cite his poor play this year and lack of development. This group often believes that drafting a rookie would yield better results than running it back with Lock again.

They make a fair argument, as Lock was abysmal in 2020, ranking at or near the bottom in every major statistical category for quarterbacks.

Those who want the team to keep Lock believe that he showed nice progression towards the end of last year as evidenced by his better stats in the last few games of the season.

Furthermore, they cite losing Courtland Sutton as a big reason for his poor play, and also mention Jerry Jeudy’s struggles with drops, costing a few touchdowns.

As a Lock fan, I believe all the reasons just mentioned are fair and outweigh those who want to dump the third-year player. But, I remain curious about those who want us to draft a quarterback specifically someone like Trey Lance and/or Justin Fields.

Lock has only started 18 games, and people are ready to jump ship. The question I have is if George Paton were to draft a QB like Trey Lance or Justin Fields, is the anti-Lock crowd going to afford them the patience they aren’t giving to Lock?

Historically, a typical NFL quarterback take a few years in the league to hit their stride. But, as of late, we have seen rookies come in and make an immediate impact like Justin Herbert and Kyler Murray, effectively hurting the idea of ‘let a guy develop.’

The guys who have made an immediate impact as rookies have helped the term ‘instant gratification’ seep back in the NFL landscape. The QBs who can come in and play well help teams shorten their rebuilding processes and allow for more organizational flexibility overall.

We’ve seen teams dump quarterbacks after one year like Josh Rosen and the Arizona Cardinals, who turned to Kyler Murray, but many teams who have recently drafted quarterbacks have given them time to try to develop.  This is evidenced by Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, and Mitchell Trubisky.

The idea that teams quickly give up on their quarterback is simply untrue, but the anti-Lock crowd seems to want to be one of the rare teams that do.

Josh Allen is the outlier here, as he seems to have hit his stride in year three, showing gradual improvement every year. Methinks if Josh Allen was on the Denver Broncos, many would have called for him to be cut after his rookie year, because he was bad.

The truth seems to be that the anti-Lock crowd is hoping the Denver Broncos draft a guy who has similar success to Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, and even Baker Mayfield in their first year. I believe they fail to realize that these players are historically uncommon and that most quarterbacks won’t hit their stride until later in their career.

Lock’s situation is unique, too. COVID restrictions greatly hampered the teams ability to learn a new offense from Pat Shurmur, and rookies playing significant snaps on offense yielded typical rookie mistakes.

The point of this article is to see what happens with the anti-Lock crowd if the Denver Broncos draft a QB. Will a rookie QB be given the proper amount of time to develop, or will parts of Broncos Country call for his banishment after a small sample size?

I would like to think that the pro-Lock crowd would afford patience to a guy like Fields or Lance, seeing as their, or our argument can apply in many different situations, but I have a feeling that the anti-Lock crowd, or pro-draft-a-guy-crowd may also afford patience to a new QB, even though they haven’t given much to Lock.

I think outside of Zach Wilson or Trevor Lawrence, there won’t be a rookie quarterback who would present an appreciable and immediate upgrade over Lock.

I think another argument to be made here is that it may actually be hard for Lock to play as poorly as he did last year.

There were so many variables that had a negative impact on his performance, and a lot of those, no, maybe all of those are essentially gone this offseason.

So, will Broncos Country afford the patience necessary to a rookie quarterback if the team drafts one, or will the ever so toxic fanbase remain so?