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Mark Sanchez or Paxton Lynch: Who will be the Denver Broncos opening day starter?

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The Mile High Report staff debate who will be the Denver Broncos opening day starting quarterback. Mark Sanchez wins the vote, but not by much.

Philadelphia Eagles v Detroit Lions

The round table discussion on Mile High Report continues today with some quarterback debate. Mark Sanchez was brought in to be a bridge quarterback for whoever John Elway ended up getting. Well, he got Paxton Lynch in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The question now is, how long will that bridge be for Sanchez? Will it be a full season or a much shorter term? And no, Trevor Siemian did not get any love in this post.

Mark Sanchez (x6)

Elway knows how difficult it is to rebuild the confidence of a rookie QB who is forced to start in the NFL before he is ready. Even if Lynch looks great in camp, Sanchez is the day one starter. You don't force a rookie to start in the super bowl rematch on national television against a stout defense unless you absolutely have no other option. - Joe Mahoney

I have to think Mark Sanchez is going to win the battle coming out of camp. He's got too much of an experience advantage on Lynch. The only way I don't see this happening is if our line can't pass block worth a darn. In that case, we may see too many turnovers at QB for Kubiak's liking. - Sadaraine

Sanchez is the pick here. Not only is Lynch a minimum of 1-2 years away from not crapping the bed in the NFL, but to be the defending champion and turning the reigns over to a rookie is the ultimate Faux Pas. It tells the team that you are giving up on the season before it begins. I don't care what any of you reading this thinks about me saying that, but it's true. Ask any player who has ever played professional sports (disqualifying all of your opinions) and they tell you that that is what players think and how they feel. If the Broncos were coming off a 4-12 season, then I'm sure Lynch would start the season because "why not?", but we aren't a 4-12 team. We are the freaking Super Bowl champions. It's time to defend it, and I'm sorry, but rookie QBs don't defend squat. - Pete Baron

I believe Sanchez will start on day one because he’s the safest bet. Experience in the NFL is extremely valuable, and if the Broncos plan on competing for a playoff spot they need to win early, which will be tough because their first 3 games are against playoff caliber teams. John Elway will want to start Paxton Lynch from day one, but I believe Kubiak will make the smart decision and start Sanchez, just as we saw Kubiak do last season when he put Peyton back into the game against the Chargers. - Brandon Perna

Sanchez, barring any more weight room injuries, of course. I loved the Paxton Lynch pick and believe he has the potential to be a franchise QB here, which is why I'm hoping he gets to spend some time learning before being thrown into the leadership role. And as good as Lynch will be (or even is), I don't think starting him against the Carolina Panthers is smart in any way - even if he's showing flashes of brilliance in preseason. We are the defending Super Bowl champs, so having a veteran leader who can run the offense moderately well while this No. 1 defense continues to dominate is a far smarter move than putting the rookie in and hoping his baptism by fire works out. - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

As much as my heart wants to say Lynch, my head says Sanchez. Sanchez already has familiarity with the scheme based on previous things he’s run, has experience leading a team to the playoffs behind a strong running game and defense, and has the skills necessary to just manage the game. This is not an indictment on Lynch at all. But given that even the most "pro ready" rookie QBs need some time to adjust to the NFL, I think the best thing for Lynch is to sit for at least the first half of the season.

The most important factor in this is the fact that John Elway seemed content to roll with Sanchez. Sure he poked around at a bunch of different guys, but was fine walking when the price got too high. Some might say it’s because he knew he wanted Lynch, but Elway always goes into the draft with a guy in place that he would be comfortable trotting out there on day 1. There was no way to guarantee that we would get Lynch, and which tells me Elway isn’t just bluffing on Sanchez being the guy (at least for a few games). - Nastyj

Paxton Lynch (x5)

John Elway didn't draft Paxton Lynch to sit. Even when they downplay his status, Kubiak and Elway can't help but say he will learn quickly, make up ground quickly. He has all the skills that Kubiak and Rick Dennison want in their quarterback. Big, strong, mobile. There is no way he doesn't end up the starter by opening day. Sanchez will be given a chance to compete, but Kubiak will want to see what Lynch is made of. If they could overcome the poor QB play last season, why can't they do it this season. Put Lynch out there and let him have his baptism by fire. - Adam Malnati

Look, I get that Mark Sanchez is the veteran and has a huge head start on Lynch in Gary Kubiak's system. However, we know who Mark Sanchez is and we know the defense is going to have to work every bit as hard to win football games with him under center that they did with Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler under center in 2015. Given that painful fact, why not have those same struggles with the Denver Broncos rookie first round pick under center instead? He will sure as hell learn a lot faster doing the grind on the field rather than holding a clipboard. - Tim Lynch

This goes without saying, but it's Lynch. Broncos Country has done an incredible job of selling itself on Sanchez, but there's a reason teams that didn't need a quarterback had Lynch rated higher than the other QBs in the draft. Lynch is ideal for this offense and he can't play any worse than the Broncos had last season. Denver knows what it has in Sanchez, it has no clue what it has with Lynch. Throw him to the fire this offseason and see what he can do. And practicing against the best defense in the NFL, the Broncos will know what they have, and when they see it they'll love it. - Ian St. Clair

Paxton Lynch, the Broncos made a really smart move securing their starting quarterback for the next five season with a rookie contract, now they can finally afford Demaryius Thomas and Von Miller. That being said, the Broncos traded for Mark Sanchez, not to be a starter, but to provide veteran leadership and a strong backup. Losing a year with Lynch on the bench does nothing for Denver and next year without Sanchez signed they still won't know what they have in Lynch. What's the point of that? Are they just going to keep drafting quarterbacks early until they have one that can start immediately? Unlikely. - Ian Henson

The Broncos have an impeccable defense and a quality core of players on the offensive side of the ball to still succeed with a rookie quarterback. Sanchez might be the veteran, but I want to see the Broncos blaze their path to a second consecutive Lombardi Trophy on the arm and big play ability of Lynch. There is certainly a risk in starting a rookie, but his upside is undeniable and he is in the right situation to succeed immediately. - Christopher Hart

Broncos County, who do you think will be chucking the rock on opening day? Sound off in the comments section and give us your pick!