Do the Broncos have the right coach to solve their quarterback problems?

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Candice Ward/GettyImages

The Broncos have a problem at quarterback. This is not a secret. As Sean Payton noted during his NFL Draft Combine availability, the Broncos are becoming a team with a bunch of crossed-out quarterback names on the back of a jersey. Payton affirmed that it is his and his team's job to "make sure this next one doesn’t have a line through it", despite actively crossing out the "Wilson" on the back of the Broncos home orange.

Payton has effectively tabbed himself as the next man in line to try and find the Broncos' franchise quarterback in the post-Manning era. John Elway tried once with Paxton Lynch, George Paton tried with Russell Wilson, and now Payton gets the chance to take a crack at the unsolvable mystery. The first two quarterback seekers came up empty-handed, despite strong indications that they might be able to find the next legendary Broncos quarterback. Their failures and the now almost decade-long quarterback purgatory the Broncos are in raise the question: is Sean Payton the right man to solve the Broncos' quarterback problem?

The most important part of the process the Broncos are in is identification. Payton will most certainly start this process with what he has in-house, which he seemingly has a decision on. From there, he will move to free agency and the draft, the latter of which makes a ton more sense for the Broncos. Under Payton, the Saints didn't select a high-end starting caliber, franchise man, but did not hit on any of the four quarterbacks they selected.

The highest quarterback that Payton saw selected in New Orleans was Garrett Grayson of Colorado State in the third round of the 2015 NFL draft. Grayson never made a start for the Saints and was effectively a third-string quarterback for his career. Most recently, Payton took Ian Book in the 4th round of the 2021 NFL draft. Book had one of the more forgettable in-game debuts in NFL history, throwing two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, in just 20 pass attempts. It has been his only in-game action to date.


Ultimately, Payton never attempted to draft an heir to the throne of Brees in New Orleans. However, all of his attempts at backups backfired. It is hard to gather whether or not Payton has what it takes to select a starting NFL quarterback in the draft, but it would be fair to question how he could draft a starter if he struggles just to draft a backup.

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