Denver Broncos Quarterbacks: The Elephant in the Room

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 3: Quarterback Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners prepares to throw in the second half against the Tulsa Hurricanes September 3, 2011 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated Tulsa 47-14. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)


I know everyone has had their chance to voice an opinion on the Denver Broncos' quarterback situation, so if you're sick of reading about it, you should probably not continue on.

This is not a post as a pro-Orton, pro-Tebow, or pro-Quinn address, but a potential fourth option that some have mentioned, but not many have really thought of as a serious possibility. Also, I will discuss what Josh McDaniels' true agenda (humor) was with the Denver Broncos, and what his goal has been from the very beginning.

At the end of this season, it is really still up in the air what will happen with the Broncos' quarterback situation. Will we re-sign Kyle Orton? What about Brady Quinn? Will Tim Tebow enter next season as the starter? Will Adam Weber be the primary backup?

Those questions are all some that I think about from time to time, but one that I hadn't spent a lot of time on was--Will the Broncos' quarterback of the future be picked up in next year's draft?

To me, there are three quarterbacks worth top five picks in next year's draft, and it's no question that Andrew Luck, Landry Jones, and Matt Barkley are all elite prospects at the quarterback position. They will all likely be top 10 picks barring something unforeseen.

The question is--will the Broncos be in the running for one of these guys, and if one is on the board when we pick in the draft (which could be a longshot at 32 overall), would we take a shot?

Truth be told, the Broncos are like almost 99 percent of the rest of the league--if they had a chance to take Andrew Luck, they would probably do it. When John Elway described the four keys to building a championship NFL team, he mentioned:

1. Quarterback

2. Pass rush

3. Blind-side tackle

4. Cover corners

 

When he described the ideal quarterback, he said that you had to be able to win games from the pocket, but at the same time, you have to be able to get out of the pocket and make plays. Right now, those descriptions describe the Broncos' two biggest name signal callers perfectly, it's just that both Orton and Tebow possess just one of Elway's requirements each.

Orton is obviously a pocket passer, but he's about as athletic as a bucket full of cement. Tim Tebow has shown that he can make some plays from the pocket, but he's clearly more comfortable being a playmaker and making plays outside of the pocket and with his feet.

There's no question that I believe Tebow can develop into a solid pocket quarterback, but let's face it--we will never be able to change who he is entirely as a player, which is a playmaker. Tebow has to learn to make his game more like Aaron Rodgers, or look at what Mike Vick was able to do last year with the Eagles.

Between this past year's training camp and next year's, I believe he can do that, but does Elway? Does John Fox? That is the question we need to be asking ourselves.

Tebow is the only Broncos quarterback under contract next year, but the team could choose to try and re-sign Orton next year if they feel Tebow isn't developing in a satisfactory, timely fashion. Regardless of who they were sitting behind, guys like Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers had to sit and learn for a while before the NFL game slowed down for them, and when they were ready, the Packers and Chargers respectively were willing to part ways with Super Bowl champion quarterbacks in order to get their new guys on the field.

When the Broncos drafted Tebow, I figured he'd be learning for a year, possibly two, so the fact that Tebow is on the bench right now should be a surprise to nobody, and it's not an indictment on our young quarterback.

The elephant in the room is whether or not Elway and Fox want Tebow as their starting quarterback of the future. Throughout this season, they will evaluate Tebow's development, and he will likely get on the field for special packages and goal line sets, similar to what he did in the early part of last year. If they feel throughout the year that he is worth getting a look as a starter next year without picking up one of the "Big Three", I would have no problem with that.

The debate that will go on in the Broncos' front office is whether or not Tebow after two years of development and three or possibly more games of being the Broncos' starting quarterback is a better alternative than, say, a Landry Jones who will be starting from scratch, learning the NFL game for the first time.

Drafting a quarterback next year could set the Broncos back another two years, possibly more, but the thing is, it wouldn't cost nearly as much money to move up and get the quarterback they want. Where it would cost a lot is in terms of draft picks--not just for this year but probably for next year. Any team that is willing to trade down from a top five draft slot--assuming the Broncos are improved enough that they won't be picking there again--is going to be asking for a king's ransom because the picks are at such a discounted price compared to previous years.

So that's the elephant in the room. Do the Broncos have any intentions of moving forward with any of the quarterbacks currently on the roster? Would it be weird if Adam Weber was the only quarterback from this season that wound up on the Broncos' final 53 next year if the team moves on from Tebow and chooses to include him in a package to move up in the draft?

The hypothetical situations are endless, and none of this would matter if former head coach Josh McDaniels hadn't traded Jay Cutler, but here we are.

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