Development timeframe: Peyton Manning 's contract is pretty simple - if he's on the roster in March next year, his contract for the following two years is guaranteed. So Os was drafted in order to either cut Manning before March (unlikely but certainly possible) or Os won't likely be seeing the field much in the next three years.
I've heard it said that Brock Osweiler is a "developmental QB". I don't know any starting NFL QB who is described as "developmental". So there's clearly a bit of how will we get from here to there in the draft selection. And as the saying goes - If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there. I hope that's not the extent of the "development plan" that we have in mind. Figured this topic is worth talking about. More interesting than arguing about past draft picks. So - a case study for everyone. How would you develop Brock Osweiler?
Development goal: Brock Osweiler must be a successful (define however you want) starting QB for the Denver Broncos for three seasons. Three seasons starting is the average for a 2nd round pick (non-RB). And obviously I assume we drafted a QB to be successful for us rather than for our competition. I mention this because a rookie contract is four years. If Osweiler first starts regularly in three years, then he will need to sign his FA contract with us in order for us to achieve this goal. A Matt Flynn type development only works with late-round developmental picks where the "expected starting time" is lower and teams get a compensatory draft pick if they lose a FA. A Matt Schaub type development/trade can meet the goal but you're going to have to define the resulting trade to make it meet the development goal.
Ideal "development QB" plan: Lots of development QB's fail for lots of reasons. But I don't have the interest in discovering why. Two pop out as screaming successes - Tom Brady and Tony Romo. Tony Romo was scouted as a hugely talented QB and the best small school QB since Kurt Warner. His only major identified "weakness" was the dreaded "small school". Apparently that phrase is akin to leprosy to NFL teams - and I also don't know how the Cowboys "developed" Tony Romo. So I'm going to use Tom Brady as my example.
Tom Brady scouting summary: Baseball catcher and football quarterback in high school who was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round of the June 1995 baseball draft. Opted for football and redshirted at Michigan in '95. Saw limited action in '96 and '97 and started the past two years. Completed 3 of 5 passes for 26 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in '96, 12-15-103-0-0 in '97, 214-350-2,636-15-12 in '98 and 180-295-2,216-16-6 in '99, when he often shared time with super sophomore Drew Henson. Went all the way against Alabama in the Orange Bowl and completed 34-46-369-4. Unlike many Michigan quarterbacks, Brady is a pocket-type passer who plays best in a dropback-type system. Positives: Good height to see the field. Very poised and composed. Smart and alert. Can read coverages. Good accuracy and touch. Produces in big spots and in big games. Has some Brian Griese in him and is a gamer. Generally plays within himself. Team leader. Negatives: Poor build. Very skinny and narrow. Ended the '99 season weighing 195 pounds and still looks like a rail at 211. Looks a little frail and lacks great physical stature and strength. Can get pushed down more easily than you'd like. Lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush. Lacks a really strong arm. Can't drive the ball down the field and does not throw a really tight spiral. System-type player who can get exposed if he must ad-lib and do things on his own. Summary: Is not what you're looking for in terms of physical stature, strength, arm strength and mobility, but he has the intangibles and production and showed great Griese-like improvement as a senior. Could make it in the right system but will not be for everyone.
I keep hearing nonsense repeated about "if these scouts knew so much, then they would have gotten Tom Brady right". Umm. Hate to say it - but this scouting report is actually quite accurate. It is the dumber NFL teams who screwed up not the pre-draft scouts. He was scrawny - so he added 20 pounds and strength training by the end of his first season. He isn't very mobile - but he was drafted by a team that has long prided itself on having an elite O-line. Lacks a really strong arm - and has found success with a team that has provided him with gobs of short range targets (TE, RB, slot WR), offensive schemes with short timed routes, elite YAC wideouts, and speedy big possession targets in the red zone. System type player - ok this is pure nonsense that is even internally contradicted - is he a goofy system guy or is he a pocket passer "unlike many Michigan QB's"? Dismiss this. Limited college playing - Was true and obviously Patriots did something to prepare him for the NFL but I don't know what
Overall this looks like a reasonably accurate scouting report where the team that drafted him had a specific systematic plan that either compensated for his weaknesses, overcame them, rendered them less relevant and the result was -- they turned a developmental QB into a screaming success. That is the Broncos challenge with Brock Osweiler.
Brock Osweiler scouting summary: Positives -- Massive size, is by far the largest quarterback of this class and draws comparisons to guys like Derek Anderson and Ryan Mallet for his size and arm strength... Huge arm, can make every throw at the next level, gets terrific zip on his intermediate throws... Can fit the ball into tight windows and really sling the ball down the field... Put up big numbers during his only season as a starter, threw for over 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns... Good footwork, moves well in the pocket and sets his feet before throwing... Will step into pressure, rarely throws off balance... Surprising athlete for his size, can scramble outside of the pocket, had previously committed to Gonzaga to play basketball... Osweiler's combination of size and mobility is rare and should intrigue NFL teams, needs to be coached up but could develop and be an effective NFL quarterback if given time.
Negatives -- Tries to throw the ball as hard as he can for some throws that should be simple touch passes... Doesn't do a good job of throwing his receiver open, has some serious ball placement issues where he doesn't give his receiver a chance to even make a play... Struggles with his accuracy down the field, regularly over throws his receivers... Misses some of the easiest throws and then will complete one of the toughest... Ended 2011 by throwing five interceptions in his final three games... Will force throws into traffic, looks like he could be prone to interceptions in the NFL... Quarterbacks with his height have not performed well historically at the NFL level... Despite his tall stature, he releases the ball low and he has a ton of balls batted down at the line of scrimmage... Only has one season under his belt as a starter, so he's fairly inexperienced for a guy coming into the NFL... Played primarily out of the shotgun and will have to adjust to playing under center... Would have benefited by returning for his senior year, raw and still and unfinished product... Has all the physical tools but lacks refinement... Arizona State's offense is tailor made to help out quarterbacks, predicated on short passes which has helped pad his statistics... High bust potential. From: http://www.sidelinescouting.com/rankings/2012/qb/brock-osweiler/#ixzz1u208x4YS
Now it's your turn
What would you do if it were your job to develop Brock Osweiler? Things he needs to do, things the coaches/staff need to do, strengths of the Broncos that minimize his weaknesses, ways in which the Broncos may build around him (either now or post-Manning)