Let's do a fun activity and take each of the three other projected starting quarterbacks from the AFC West and put them on the Denver Broncos. How do the new squads look? When it's the dead of summer and not a lot is going on in the NFL, you get creative.
Let's say in an alternate universe, there were three other separate worlds that the Denver Broncos played in. Let's say that in each of those worlds, their quarterback situation was different. All of Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, and Jimmy Garoppolo (lol) are now the quarterbacks of the Denver Broncos.
How would the new-look Broncos look, and would they be better than the current roster with Russell Wilson?
Plugging each AFC West QB on the Denver Broncos: How does the team look?
1. Justin Herbert
The original plan for Justin Herbert seemed to be a redshirt year in the 2020 season, but he was quickly thrust into the lineup after a freak injury to Tyrod Taylor, and Herbert never looked back. He won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2020 and threw for 31 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions.
Statistically, his rookie season was his best. He's followed that up with two very solid seasons. Herbert is clearly one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL. After three seasons, his 17-game averages comes out to 4,888 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.
He's a prolific passer and would allow Sean Payton to do what he wanted with the offense. Herbert has a rocket on his right arm and can move around with the best of them. This would allow Payton to use Herbert as a pure pocket passer and on the run. Herbert has made a name for himself with some insanely deep throws across the field.
Herbert on the Denver Broncos would also make them the favorites in the AFC West. The Broncos would have a better overall roster than the Kansas City Chiefs if they had Justin Herbert at QB.
2. Patrick Mahomes
If there was any other head coach who could get as much out of Patrick Mahomes as Andy Reid has, it's Sean Payton. Payton and Reid honestly might be the two best offensive minds in NFL history. And I don't think that's an exaggeration at all. Putting Mahomes on the Broncos would make the team Super Bowl favorites by a long shot. Mahomes did just QB his way to his second Super Bowl title in four seasons.
He's already established a Hall of Fame career in just five seasons starting in the NFL. He's made two All-Pro teams, five Pro Bowls, two MVP awards, and two Super Bowl MVPs. There's really nothing he hasn't accomplished at this point in his career.
His 17-game splits in his five years starting come out to 5,155 yards, 41 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He may end his career as the best QB in NFL history. He would make the Broncos Super Bowl contenders for the next seven seasons, at least.
3. Jimmy Garoppolo
Well, I'm not sure this would be an upgrade over Russell Wilson. People have been able to win with Garoppolo, but no team has ever won because of him. Kyle Shanahan is an offensive genius, and he was able to squeeze every last bit out of Jimmy G.
He's struggled to stay healthy during his career and makes at least one bone-headed mistake per game. He's a pocket passer with limited mobility and is a bit undersized. Honestly, it sounds a lot like Drew Brees. I do think if Garoppolo could stay healthy for one season, Sean Payton would be able to squeeze everything out of Jimmy G.
The Denver Broncos also do have enough talent at the skill positions to cover up for Garoppolo so he doesn't have to do much in the offense. I think we'd see a run-heavy team and a ton of short-intermediate passes to limit Garoppolo's mistakes, which will come no matter what.
The Broncos would be a worse team with Garoppolo under center instead of Wilson.