3 QBs the Broncos should trade for if teams give up on them

- Former top 3 pick

- A shot at athleticism and upside

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages
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2. Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

The Denver Broncos might have had a shot at Trey Lance in the 2021 NFL Draft if they didn't get leap-frogged by the San Francisco 49ers, who coveted Lance more than any other NFL team. The Broncos apparently liked Lance and his upside as well, but he went third overall and the Broncos stayed up at no. 9, selecting Pat Surtain II.

As we prepare for the 2023 NFL season, it feels like Lance's standing with the 49ers is unstable at best. The 49ers appear to be moving forward with Brock Purdy as their primary starting quarterback and they added Sam Darnold in free agency, another player I was hoping the Broncos would go after.

Although any smart offensive coach could carve out a role for Lance, I think Sean Payton has proven with the way he utilized Taysom Hill in New Orleans that he might be uniquely qualified to maximize Trey Lance's running abilities while he continues to develop as a quarterback.

The Broncos are obviously moving forward with Russell Wilson as their QB1 and Jarrett Stidham as the QB2. The QB3 could still have a role in the offense as evidenced by Hill in his years with the Saints and Lance could do something very similar (if not better) for the Denver Broncos. The primary objective here is adding a QB with upside, not trying to find the next Taysom Hill, but if you can get an explosive playmaker on top of a developmental QB?

I think that's an added bonus.

The 49ers would undoubtedly be looking to receive the best possible return in exchange for Trey Lance but I think at this point, they will understand that they also have to be realistic. Lance is entering his third NFL season. By this time next year, the 49ers will have had to have made a decision on whether or not they're going to pick up his 5th-year option.

Also by this time next year, if Lance doesn't get any sort of opportunity to play somewhere, his value might be shot. Now is the time for the 49ers to at least maximize their value and they do have Brandon Allen as another option on the roster so they can ultimately keep three.

I view Trey Lance in Denver as an ideal landing spot and I think if the 49ers were going to trade him, they would see the Broncos as ideal for a couple of reasons. First of all, you're putting Lance into a situation where he gets to learn from Sean Payton. Second, you're trading him out of the conference completely.

I don't know if there is a trade I would rather see the Broncos make than this, especially if it costs less than a second-round pick. It's a shot worth taking at the game's most valuable position.