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Broncos roster 2017: Trevor Siemian

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Possibly the most polarizing 7th round quarterback since Matt Cassel. Another quarterback that tore the Broncos apart without really having anything to do with it.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Trevor Siemian
Position: QB
Height: 6’3" Weight: 220 lbs
Age: 25 Experience: 3rd
College: Northwestern

INT. GEORGE BUSH INTERCONTINENTAL AIRPORT - EXECUTIVE LOUNGE - EVENING

Slug: November 15th, 2014

The Baltimore Ravens new offensive coordinator has Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett in the middle of career single-season highs in touchdowns and yardage. He would soon sit down and point his attention to a game that was about to go into the 4th quarter.

A 4th quarter that saw the Notre Dame Fighting Irish carry over a 34-26 lead over the Northwestern Wildcats. Then Trevor Siemian started, leading the Wildcats to a field goal less than a minute into the 4th quarter. The Fighting Irish would push back with a touchdown while failing to convert the 2-point conversion making the score 40-29 Irish with 10:34 on the board. Siemian capped off a 9 play 73-yard drive with a 6-yard scamper. Northwestern thanked Notre Dame for the two point conversion narrowing the score to 40-37 with the Irish still playing lucky. That luck ran out temporarily as Siemian took another 9 plays to drive the ball 44 yards to tie the game 40-40 with 19 seconds left.

Northwestern would win by a field goal in overtime. Siemian would finish his game against #18 Notre Dame with a stat line of 30 of 48 for 284 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. A QBR of 44.1. He tacked on 10 rushes for 32 yards and a touchdown.

And Gary Kubiak was in love.

That offseason Kubiak would be hired as the head coach of the Denver Broncos, he would go on to be given the honor of selecting the NFL's 250th pick overall (and the first of three 7th round selections in a row). He used that pick on Siemian, he could have gone in any order, because the next two picks for Denver were Taurean Nixon and Josh Furman.

Neither Nixon nor Furman remain with the team. As a matter of fact only 6 of the Broncos 9 draft picks from two drafts ago remain on the current roster. What stuck out to me consistently throughout Siemian's first training camp was how far he stood out from not only Zac Dysert, but from Peyton Manning's backup, Brock Osweiler as well. Sure, Siemian was essentially the fourth quarterback. However, he passed Dysert quickly and as Manning struggled I crossed my fingers that we would see Siemian instead of Osweiler in relief of Manning.

Had Kubiak had his way, Manning would have been back for the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he was overruled by John Elway. It is my personal opinion that Siemian would have been Kubiak's choice to replace Manning as he struggled, not Osweiler.

Then Kubiak won a ring in his first season as the Denver Broncos head coach. Manning was forced into retirement via lack of interest and at the scouting combine it seemed as if Kubiak had hit the jackpot. He would not shut up about his new quarterback, Osweiler was scheduled to hit free agency and was no longer returning phone calls from Denver. The Broncos traded a conditional pick for Mark Sanchez, traded forward for Paxton Lynch in the 1st round and started Siemian at quarterback in 2016. Siemian was the quarterback Kubiak wouldn't shut up about at the combine.

Prelude

If you want to start a revolution in Denver, you get a 7th round quarterback involved. Gus Frerotte (7th round draft pick) comes on in relief of injured Brian Griese and leads the Broncos to the playoffs. That was the first time since 1979 without John Elway on the team.

In 2009 Josh McDaniels traded Jay Cutler and a fifth round pick for Kyle Orton, two first round picks and a third round pick. Cutler's abrupt trade request came after McDaniels supposedly inquired the New England Patriots about the availability of Tom Brady's then backup quarterback Matt Cassel (7th round draft pick).

In 2016 Kubiak decided to go with Siemian (7th round draft pick) as the starting quarterback for the Super Bowl 50 champions.

The Good

I've been on Team Siemian since training camp 2015. I saw immediately that he had passed Zac Dysert, I paid close attention when, if ever he got second team reps. In the preseason he looked better than Brock Osweiler and I publicly plead with the Broncos to trade Osweiler with Siemian being the succession plan.

What I observed during the 2016 training camp was again, the third string quarterback looking like the best player on the squad. Mark Sanchez's life was being made hell by Lorenzo Doss and the rest of the #NoFlyZone, while Siemian saw his reps against guys that mostly did not make the team and Kayvon Webster. The few times Lynch played with the second team he finished with better days than Siemian.

But this is a business, the R.O.I. (Return on Investment) on Siemian was gigantic. He was a 7th round draft pick signed for next to nothing for four seasons, he was at least as good as Sanchez, but starting him meant possibly stunting the growth of Lynch. Not starting Lynch and starting Siemian last season could possibly have saved Lynch's career as Siemian apparently played through a grade three shoulder separation that the Broncos seemingly downplayed the entire year.

So, he plays hurt. Which apparently Kubiak appreciates not only in quarterbacks, but in rushing guys like Sambrailo back. As you witnessed, rushing Sambrailo back led to him not blocking at full strength for that already injured quarterback playing through a grade five shoulder separation. A grade five shoulder separation means the clavicle and shoulder have been separated completely.

At worst in Siemian you have a guy who will only gain trade value as a backup (see Mike Glennon's gaudy contract worth $15M per season that he signed determining market value for a quarterback with a career record of 5 and 13, Siemian is 8-6) and if not be allowed to walk and collect a killing as a free agent.

Denver almost owes it to Siemian if they plan on attempting any legitimate career for Chad Kelly. Kubiak made sure that he gave Siemian a heck of a highlight reel for his final game as head coach for the Broncos. Playing Siemian (who required offseason surgery on that separated shoulder) throughout the entire game against the Oakland Raiders after insisting all week that Lynch would get half of a game's worth of plays.

The Bad

In 2016 Siemian passed almost exclusively to his left side, he had 10 interceptions, 4 fumbles and was sacked 33 times in 14 games. More than 65% of Siemian's plays last season were with 7-10 yards to go, only 39.3% of those took place on first downs.

Those that would like to throw the offensive line under the bus for those statistics need only view a current Broncos depth chart and see that Ty Sambrailo now sits atop the left tackle position. Where Sambrailo played as a rookie in 2015 with Peyton Manning at the helm. Also returning this season on the offensive line are left guard Max Garcia and Matt Paradis (who came this close to being voted an All Pro last season). So, while the Broncos did bring on a new right guard and right tackle, they did not completely overhaul the line (even re-signing Donald Stephenson, while also attempting to re-sign Russell Okung) and show that they have no faith in their guys from last season.

Siemian spent most of this offseason in Denver, which he was allowed to do due to offseason shoulder surgery. A shoulder that apparently was injured in week 4 last season in a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A shoulder that while maybe not getting Gary Kubiak fired, it did get the entire offensive staff fired on the way to forcing Kubiak's early retirement.

That Notre Dame game that made Kubiak fall in love with Siemian saw Siemian get pressured on only 10 of 54 drop backs. Siemian would finish 2016 dead last in 1st down pass attempts with no pressure.

Quotable

"Like the title of a Denver superfan’s YouTube rap dedicated to the him, he’s Calm, Cool, Collected. Siemian’s personal style reflects his Florida roots and his laidback vibe—floral Tommy Bahama shirts, Maui Jim sunglasses, Birkenstocks and socks. He’s a private guy. His quotes are as scripted as his game plans. His friends interviewed for this story asked his permission before agreeing to talk about him." - MMQB

Status

Siemian is a guarantee to make the roster. Will he be the starting quarterback in week 1? No, I do not believe so.