Ranking every single QB the Broncos have drafted with a first-round pick

The Broncos have had a couple of the best quarterbacks in NFL history on their team, but they didn't draft either one of them.

Aug 24, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) attempts a pass in a preseason game.
Aug 24, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) attempts a pass in a preseason game. / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
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Jay Cutler, Denver Broncos
Dec. 14, 2008; Charlotte, NC, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler (6) takes on the Carolina Panthers. / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

1. Jay Cutler, 2006 (No. 11 overall)

At the time, this might have been a bigger surprise than when the Broncos drafted Maddox in 1992. The Broncos had just played in the AFC Championship Game the season prior and Jake Plummer was still playing at a high level for the team. But Mike Shanahan was too enamored with Jay Cutler out of Vanderbilt.

The Broncos gave the St. Louis Rams a third-round pick to swap first-round picks, moving up four slots to draft the cannon-armed Cutler. It certainly blindsided Plummer.

Cutler's talent was obvious and he soon took the starting job from Plummer. He wasn't the easiest player to like as he had an odd demeanor, but he definitely looked like the future of the Broncos. That was until the team hired McDaniels ahead of the 2009 season.

McDaniels didn't see Cutler as the kind of fit that he envisioned in his offense and he traded Cutler to the Chicago Bears in exchange for Kyle Orton. It remains a horrible decision in the minds of most Broncos fans as they were never able to see how far the team could have gone with Cutler.

Cutler is the only quarterback ever drafted by the Broncos in the first round to last more than two seasons in Denver and that was only three.

He ended up making 37 career starts for the Broncos and he had a losing record at 17-20. He completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 9,024 yards with 54 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. There was no doubting his arm talent, but he was bit too careless with the ball at times, leading to some costly turnovers.

Cutler was the most talented passer on this list, but he never took the Broncos to the postseason, so the top two on this list are close, though many readers would likely completely disagree.

Next. Avoided Free Agents. Broncos were wise to avoid these players in free agency . dark

One thing is for sure, if the Broncos draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2024 draft, it needs to be a guy who quickly takes the top spot on this list, because it shouldn't be too hard to do.