Sometimes it feels like we are on a never-ending cycle here in Broncos Country. Here on MHR, on every website, the conversation invariably turns to the QB position. Rightfully so, and this article will be no exception.
I’m not going to compare Lock to 2018’s crop of QBs, and I won’t be evaluating his talent. That’s a job that is better suited for some of the other staffers here on MHR. Rather, let me offer up a QB plan for John Elway and his new coaching staff — go all in.
If Elway et al. decide that Lock is the future, they need to do everything in their power to get him on the team. Then they have to commit to him 100 percent. What does that look like? Well, there are several schools of thought on that.
There is the “Baptism by Fire route.” Throw him in Day One as a rookie starter, get his lumps in early. Don’t be squeamish about the record, and understand that the team is going to go through a few seasons of growing pains. Put a solid team around the kid, and allow him to become the leader of the franchise.
There are plenty of players for #Broncos fans to watch at the #SeniorBowl, but @AdamMalnati16 & I say fans should "lock" in on one. On the @MileHighReport Radio Podcast, we talk about Chris Kuper's return & laugh at the #LOLChiefs. Oh, & back to #FYTB https://t.co/pXGau2wqAk— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) January 26, 2019
There is the “Patrick Mahomes Principle.” Draft the QB you love, sit him for a year behind a veteran QB, a la Case Keenum or Alex Smith, but move on from the veteran the next year, handing the job to the first-round draft pick.
There is the “Baker Mayfield Transformation.” Start the season off with a veteran QB under center, and then transition to the rookie. This is kind of like an accelerated Mahomes Principle combined with a Baptism by fire.
Finally, there is the Competition Conundrum. As Ian said on the podcast, put Keenum and Lock (if it is Lock), and perhaps another signed vet out there in an open competition. May the best man win. Maybe this is the best option for a “win now” approach, but I’m not sure that’s what is best for the future of the franchise.
If it were me, I would go with Baptism by Fire, or the Mahomes Principle. However, it doesn’t matter what route the Broncos go if they refuse to go all in on their first-round pick. If it is a QB like Lock, there is no question that half measures and partial support from the coaches and management will only serve to stunt the growth of the player.
As I have stated on the podcast, Elway is making some of his final decisions as the Broncos GM. Fangio will likely be his final hire as head coach, and whoever he drafts at QB will probably be his last QB drafted. If it works out, Elway won’t need to find any replacements. If it doesn’t work out, Elway will be the one getting replaced.