Denver Broncos: Making the case for Trey Lance in round one

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) /
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Denver Broncos, 2021 NFL Draft, Trey Lance
Denver Broncos, 2021 NFL Draft, Trey Lance. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

George Paton signed a six-year contract to be the Denver Broncos’ general manager. Realistically, he’s probably got about three or four years to really right the ship.

Fair or not, that’s the reality of the NFL today. Hopefully, the Denver Broncos will afford Paton as much time as possible to get things turned around, but let’s say Paton passes on the chance to take a guy like Lance with the 9th overall pick despite having a pretty well-rounded roster going into the 2021 NFL Draft as it is.

If that happens and he passes on Lance (and other top QBs if they are available), rolls with Drew Lock and a veteran hedge like Teddy Bridgewater, he would be subjecting himself to the possibility of being in the NFL Draft quarterback market in 2022.

With that being said, the Denver Broncos likely don’t plan on picking in the top 10 of the 2022 NFL Draft, so that thinking would put the team in a position to possibly have to allocate 2023 assets into the 2022 NFL Draft, which may not be wise either because the 2023 NFL Draft may have some superstars at the QB position.

It’s not out of the realm of reason to say that the most prudent track for George Paton to take is to draft a quarterback high this year. That would afford him one year to still evaluate Drew Lock’s potential at this level with a young, cost-controlled, extremely talented hedge as insurance (which remember, they would be paying for at lower than market value for).

Drafting Lance keeps you out of the 2022 NFL Draft quarterback market but would allow you to keep options open for the 2023 NFL Draft if need be.

The roster the Denver Broncos have currently assembled is very favorable for the quarterback. They have a plethora of skill players, a very talented defense, and a head coach in Vic Fangio who is going to keep them in every game with his defensive scheming.

That means that Drew Lock, in theory, should find a way to succeed if his talent meets the opportunity he’s been presented with. It also means that in a year, the roster should be even stronger for a rookie quarterback to take over if the other players continue to progress and the team makes wise investments in free agency.

This is not all to say it’s 2021 or bust at the quarterback position. There are paths to success by pushing that need into the future. Although some worry the 2022 class at quarterback will be nothing like the 2021 class, you just never know.

With that said, there is a risk both ways in punting that need.

Especially if he doesn’t have to trade up to acquire him, George Paton would be setting himself up for success given the value of this position and how young Trey Lance is (only 20 years old) right now and the upside he would present in the event that Drew Lock does ball out.

Let’s say that happens, by the way. Let’s say Lock makes a huge leap in the 2021 season, entrenches himself as a star, and the Broncos have Trey Lance sitting on the roster behind him.

What if the 2022 NFL Draft class at QB is as underwhelming as some believe it will be? That would make Trey Lance’s value tremendous to other teams that might come calling to the Broncos about acquiring him.

If you put Lance up against the current projected 2022 class, would he be the QB1 of that group? At this point, that’s at least a fair discussion to have.