What do you get with the #2 overall draft pick and a quarterback that scouts are absolutely in love with? Controversy. It's undeniable. Andrew Luck is an incredibly attractive prospect to anyone looking for a QB. He is 6 ft 4, 235 pounds with a great arm, fantastic instincts, and deadly accuracy. He looks to be a terrific QB in the NFL for a long time.
If you have read this blog regularly in the past couple months, you have seen posts by Broncosfansd supporting the Broncos drafting Andrew Luck.
This is my response to the idea of drafting Andrew Luck
Let's start by taking a look at Andrew Luck's college numbers
He concluded his season last night with a victory in the Orange Bowl over Virginia Tech. He threw 18 for 23 for 287 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Pretty impressive numbers for a bowl game. His final career numbers:
A couple notes:
Luck completed 70 percent of his throws this year.
Luck had a 4 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio.
Luck has thrown for 5,626 yards, 41 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in his collegiate career.
These are all very impressive numbers for the junior from Stanford. As noted before, he can be deadly accurate. Several analysts have compared him to Peyton Manning.
So the question remains: Should we go after Andrew Luck?
My Answer: No.
Let me tell you why.
1. It would cost too much
Andrew Luck is going to be the #1 overall draft pick. Denver currently owns the #2 overall draft pick. I have not found a draft day where #2 moves up to #1, but here are a couple trades that are close enough that would give us an estimate.
2001- #1 overall traded for #5 overall, 3rd round pick, 2nd round pick the next year, and WR Tim Dwight.
1998- #2 overall traded for #3 overall, 1st round pick the next year, 2nd round pick, and RB/WR Eric Metcalf.
This is the trade the San Diego Chargers made with the Atlanta Falcons so they could draft Ryan Leaf. (HAHAHAHA)
So as you can see, to trade up just a few spots near the top of the draft is going to cost a lot of draft picks. I imagine it would easily cost us at least 3 draft picks and maybe even a player. It could even cost more if there are multiple teams aiming for the potential franchise quarterback from Stanford.
2. Defense needs major rehauling
21.5 points per game (19th overall) , 348.9 yards per game (13th overall) , 252.4 passing yards per game (7th overall), 96.5 rushing yards per game (26th overall).
These are the stats of the Broncos offense. As you can see, with the exception of rush yards, the Broncos had a pretty effective offensive unit.
The defense, however, was a totally different story
29.4 points per game (32nd overall), 390.8 yards per game (32nd overall), 236.2 passing yards per game (25th overall), 154.6 rushing yards per game (31st overall).
As you can see, the 2010 Broncos had one of the worst defenses in the league. It starts with the defensive line, continues through the pass rush, and ends with the secondary. Every part of our defense could use upgrades.
We currently play a 3-4, but switching to a 4-3 is not out of the question with the head coach not yet picked. With the #2 overall draft pick, we will be able to get the best defensive player (assuming Luck comes out). Potential prospects include the disruptive Nick Fairley, the sack machine Da'Quan Bowers, and the lock down corner Patrick Peterson. Each of these players can play in both schemes.
There is also the possibility of trading down and acquiring more picks. With only 6 picks this year, that might be the best option.
In short, the Broncos defense is the part of the team that needs the most attention. The offense was able to score, but the defense was not able to prevent opponents from scoring. There are some top notch talents in this draft that fit our areas of need. I've already mentioned DT Nick Fairley, DE Da'Quan Bowers, and CB Patrick Peterson. There's also DT Marcel Dareus, CB Prince Amukamara, and many more. Spending our top draft pick on a quarterback would mean neglecting the most talent deprived part of our team.
3. Tim Tebow
Here it is. The reason that everyone knew was coming. Why would we draft Andrew Luck when we have Tim Tebow? This reason is entirely opinion and little fact, but it's arguably the most important reason there is.
The Broncos franchise has already invested a lot in Tim Tebow. They traded 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks last year to attain him. Are we going to throw away all those picks before we give Tim a chance?
Tim did a very nice job in his limited action the past month. He threw for 654 yards, completing 50% of his passes and had 5 touchdowns. He also ran for 3 touchdowns, 1 in each of his games.
Three games isn't enough to declare any young quarterback a franchise quarterback, but it is enough to determine whether they deserve a shot. Tim has done exactly that. It hasn't always been pretty, but Tim Tebow made the Denver Broncos competitive the final 3 weeks. They played hard against Oakland, beat Houston, and nearly defeated the Chargers this past weekend.
Tim has shown great potential and we would be foolish to throw it away. Was it conventional? No. But it doesn't need to be conventional. Steve Young's style wasn't conventional. Neither was Elway's. Now don't mistake my words, I am not comparing Tim to some of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. I am simply saying that just because a Tebow is unorthodox doesn't mean he can't win. Plenty of unorthodox quarterbacks have found success in the NFL.
We are going to know a lot more about Tim Tebow 1 year from now. Give him the chance to work with the first team offense for more then one month. Give him the chance to get a rhythm with his receivers. Give him the chance to work on his progressions. Then see where he is at.
If he fails, then we can talk about drafting a new quarterback. Matt Barkley and Landry Jones will be draft eligible in 2012. Both have the potential to be franchise signal callers. Andrew Luck is not going to be the last draft prospect to be given the "franchise quarterback" title. If Tebow fails, there will be other people we can replace him with, but give Tim a chance to succeed first. I'm tired of hearing how "great" our team would be if we kept Cutler. I will go crazy if in 3 years from now, we are saying the same thing about Tim.
Drafting Andrew Luck will be one of the worst decisions our franchise could make.
The Denver Broncos are not the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are a team who could be very competitive if they had a franchise signal caller. The 49ers are a team who should do whatever they can to draft an Andrew Luck. They gave Alex Smith a chance to succeed, but he failed. It's time to move on. They have a good defense, a stellar running game, and a developing o-line. Put Andrew Luck in a 49er uniform and they become the favorite to win the NFC West. Put Andrew Luck on the Broncos and you have a "franchise" QB on a crappy team.
Is Tim Tebow our quarterback for the future? We don't know yet. We need to give him a full year before we can begin to answer that question. He has earned a shot with his play so far.
The Head Coach is going to call the shots. If he decides to draft Andrew Luck, my loyalty to the Broncos will still remain. One player does not make me a Denver Bronco fan, but I will be down right pissed if we do go that route. Getting rid of Tim Tebow for Andrew Luck is not going to fix the Denver Broncos. Tim Tebow is not the problem. Defense is the problem. Drafting Andrew Luck is ignoring the problem.