So while I rarely kneejerk, I feel this might be a good time. 3rd round selection, quarterback Colt McCoy has hit the trading block according a few NFL sources. Now this shouldn't be a huge shock, the Browns have needed a high profile QB for a while, and whether Brandon Weedon turns out great or not doesn't matter, Browns fans just needed a player to root for, that was never Colt McCoy. Having said that, I would ask from my puny internet pulpit, Broncos, please go out and trade a conditional 5th rounder for Colt McCoy.
Now I know we just drafted Brock Osweiler, that's totally fine, and we also brought in Caleb Hanie, but let me make my case for Colt McCoy. Now this type of post might seem strange coming from me, but I need an audience and you are here, so sorry.
Please hear me out before you jump to the poll and comments and say "yes" or "no."
The Current State of the Broncos Quarterbacks:
After a recent poll taken here on Mile High Report, the problem with depth at quarterback became clear to many fans. We all know that Brock Osweiler is a project with a high ceiling, so we hope that by sitting a few seasons he can reach his potential. Having said this, if he were to start this year, game 1, I imagine he'd end up having a season similar to Blaine Gabbert. I know that might get me a lot of flak from his supporters, and I support him long term, but it's a good thing we have Manning. The real question about who will be the backup might have to do with Caleb Hanie and Adam Weber.
Now after his decent performance in 2010 against the Green Bay Packers in a playoff loss, I felt he was a solid backup for the Bears, but after watching and rewatching his play from 2011, I'm afraid. Now this isn't a player analysis, though I will state I'm pretty low on Hanie, he's a low ceiling guy who seems to lack the smarts to really guide an offense. If he ends up being our #2 QB, I'm going to be concerned.
I am a fan of Weber though, he looked impressive last camp, but at the same time, I'd feel more comfortable with someone else there.
Having said that, I present Colt McCoy.
Colt McCoy: Perfect Backup Plan
Now I will say upfront that I was a big Colt fan at Texas and is one of the few NFL players I've met face to face last year. Now that we've got that out of the way I will say that Colt's weaknesses are very apparent, his arm strength. In 2011 he had one of the weakest arms among starting quarterbacks in the NFL, behind maybe whoever was starting for the Colts or Andy Dalton or Matt Ryan. This is a huge weakness, now I know arms strength isn't everything, but Colt's arm is incredibly weak, enough so that it affects his deep ball. Now other weaker armed QBs like Matt Ryan and Andy Dalton just avoid the deep ball, and Colt did this as well. But with that covered, let's look at Colt's overall profile:
- Work ethic and drive (first in and last out, both in college and in NFL)
- Leadership (team captain and known to be strong motivator)
- Football smart (has experience and studies incredible hard)
- Mobile (was faster and more agile than Tim Tebow on the run)
- Smaller size (while he's no Michael Vick or Drew Brees, he's still small)
- Arm strength (among the weakest in the NFL)
His two cons are pretty big, but I want to make a case that it really doesn't matter. First off let's compare McCoy and Hanie:
When we compare these two, it's pretty clear that while neither are great, McCoy is an upgrade in just about every way. He's more accurate, turns the ball less and scores more often. He takes over half as few sacks as Hanie and had higher yards per attempt and passer rating. Throw in McCoy was playing with a worse offense, it makes it only more impressive.
If we include McCoy's rushing numbers, we add 348 yards and a touchdown.
Another thing to keep in mind is the offense. Currently the Broncos offense is more talented than anything Colt has seen in the past, heck I'd say our #3 WR Andre Caldwell is about as talented as the Browns #1 WR Greg Little. Now when you include the scheme, at least what we think the offense will look like, it's an even better fit. The offense Peyton Manning has run his entire career has revolved around a mid-range passing game across the middle with shorter out-routes. The deep passing game wasn't important to Manning for the past decade, heck Manning really only had a middle of the road arm, strong enough to go deep, but hardly a cannon. The offense relied heavily pre-snap reads and being able to rapidly digest info. All of these things play to McCoy's strengths. He has the mental ability to make the reads Manning makes, has the quick release and the ability to make 95% of the throws in the Manning playbook. If you want to read more about the Manning/Colts offense, here are two links to a study I did earlier in the off-season, here and here.
We've also heard a lot of talk about how if Manning goes down, the season is lost, I'd question that. The Broncos had an above average defense last season and literally has improved at every position on defense (outside of a 1-tech DT). This defensive unit looks to be a top-10 defense, especially if Doom, Champ and Miller can stay healthy. We have a Pro Bowl running back and two young other backs who, if they can stay healthy, have the potential to be efficient in their playing time. We've also added Andre Caldwell, who is an upgrade over Willis last season. The line should also improve. Overall this team is more talented at just about every position besides DT than it was in 2011. I would think that Colt McCoy could come in and win about half the games Manning is out, heck he won games on a much worse Cleveland team. Remember no one is expecting him to be the starter, he just needs to win at least half the games Manning is out, at least be better than Chris Simms or Brady Quinn, something I think McCoy is.
Now remember, this is about potential and ability to start, McCoy is better in both categories, he's younger than Hanie, has a higher ceiling, and has more starting experience, kind of the perfect developmental backup. This isn't about him replace Manning or Osweiler (in the long term) it's about taking a player for a low cost that has the chance of a high payoff. Colt is an immediate upgrade of Hanie, he is said to be on the table for a late round pick (5th or 6th) and with his young age (turns 25 this season) he has the potential to continue to develop into a player who would compete with Osweiler when the time comes and could be traded for a high value later if needed.
With McCoy on the team, the depth chart would look a bit more secure:
- Peyton Manning
- Colt McCoy
- Brock Osweiler
- Practice Squad: Adam Weber
In this situation we'd have three quarterbacks under 25, all of who have potential and one has starting experience. I like this a lot better than with Hanie. Throw in the fact that Hanie didn't really cost us anything since we picked him in free agency and is on a very low contract, there would be no real cost for cutting him.
As for the 5th round pick for McCoy, considering Chris Kuper in 2006 was the last 5th rounder to stay on the team for more than one season, I think a long term backup solution is hardly a bad value, heck it's a steal. Not too often a 5th rounder turns into anything, so is it really that important?
I know this seems like a strange post about the backup quarterback position, but when I sat down and studied the situation, Colt McCoy is a better backup than Caleb Hanie, he would come very cheap, and he has potential along with actual game experience.
Where is the downside, because I couldn't fine one. So ask yourself, are you happy with Hanie?