Denver Broncos up and down preseason QB play is concerning

Denver Broncos, Josh Johnson - Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos, Josh Johnson - Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

While the Denver Broncos finished 2-1 in the preseason, inconsistent play from both of their quarterbacks is a concerning event.  I personally was not a fan of the team putting both Josh Johnson and Brett Rypien in a battle to be the QB2 in Denver.  It’s clear to me that, after the preseason, neither player showed enough consistency to warrant being a backup quarterback in the NFL, one of the most important positions on the roster.

Now, if Russell Wilson does miss games, which virtually never happens, the Broncos are likely screwed anyway.  However, having a competent backup quarterback is something that can be extremely valuable to teams.  The Broncos have a roster where they could carry a QB2 to a win on a Sunday if Wilson misses a game or two.

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Denver’s roster is very good, and having a competent failsafe behind Wilson in the event that he would need to miss games is very important.  After watching the Broncos preseason, where they averaged just 18.33 points, I’m not convinced we have a reliable QB2 on the roster.

Josh Johnson has been a career journeyman, bouncing from team to team seemingly every year.  He’s usually been signed as a free agent during the season when a team suffers an injury.  He’s been in the NFL since 2009, and has a 1-8 career record, along with 13 touchdown passes against 16 interceptions.

Brett Rypien was undrafted out of 2019 and has been with the Broncos since then.  He’s got a 1-0 career record along with two touchdown passes against four interceptions.  He’s lauded for his intelligence and could eventually take the Kellen Moore route, turning into a moderately successful coach.

However, none of their careers thus far or preseason performances have convinced me that they are worthy of being a backup QB in the NFL.  One player I personally have my eye on for the position if Denver wants to try to improve here is Mason Rudolph.  Rudolph was drafted in the third round in 2019 and has been the backup in Pittsburgh since then.

However, with the team drafting Kenny Pickett, Rudolph has essentially fallen to the QB3 role in Pittsburgh, which has prompted rumors that he is on the trade block.  Rudolph is 5-4 in his career with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.  To me, he would be the perfect backup option in Denver for the Broncos.  He’s got solid starting experience and appears to be a competent player under center.

Obviously, he’s a backup talent for a reason, but what he’s shown in the NFL thus far is more than what either Rypien or Johnson have shown.  I think the Denver Broncos are in a position where they need to turn over every stone to try and improve their roster.

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They should load up as much as possible to keep pace in the AFC, and trading for an above-average backup would be a good place to continue that.