Winning two championships as a player and another championship as an executive, John Elway has been an instrument of success for the Denver Broncos.
Before achieving success, Elway had to overcome failure.
As a player, he endured three Super Bowl losses, and lost one championship as an executive.
A confusing element of critiquing the success and failures of General Manager John Elway is the notion, “once a quarterback always a quarterback.”
Elway hit a home run by signing Peyton Manning as a free agent but has since struggled to draft and develop a franchise quarterback.
A year after signing free agent quarterback Case Keenum, Elway dealt him to the Redskins. after acquiring Joe Flacco from the Ravens. With Flacco, Elway has identified an accomplished veteran that he can build a team around.
Although there has been interest in potential first-round quarterbacks Drew Lock, Daniel Jones and Dwayne Haskins, the Broncos have created the perception that they’ll draft a quarterback in the first round.
But does John Elway still feel confident in evaluating college quarterbacks? He has reason for self doubt after selecting draft busts Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler.
But just because Elway missed on drafting a franchise quarterback, doesn’t mean his expertise on the quarterback position has wavered. Elway understands that the last three seasons have been disappointing to say the least.
By building an unrelenting and aggressive defense, and creating a technically sound offense, the GM knows the formula for bringing another Lombardi Trophy back to Denver.
In 2018, Elway visibly scouted Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Georgia’s Jake Fromm, showing great interest in both. There will also be an intense hype for Alabama sensation Tua Tagovailoa next season, and all three college QBs are projected to enter the 2020 NFL Draft.
After Herbert declared he would return this fall for his senior season at Oregon, there was speculation the probability of Broncos selecting a quarterback in 2019 decreased.
Fast forward a couple of months to the 2019 Senior Bowl, where rumors surfaced of a potential “crush” between the Broncos and Missouri’s Drew Lock. Add in Dwayne Haskins, who visited the Broncos last week in a vintage Elway jersey, and the Broncos appear undecided while evaluating this year’s collegiate prospects.
Looking ahead to the 2020 Draft Class, Walter Football recently mocked next year’s quarterbacks to be selected within the first six picks of the 2020 draft:
Pick Number 1. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama)
Pick Number 5. Oakland Raiders – Jake Fromm (Georgia)
Pick Number 6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Justin Herbert (Oregon).
In each draft, teams panic or desperately reach for a quarterback.
In most cases, the spark of prospect becomes a flash in the pan.
While the 2020 quarterback draft class projects to feature significant talent, the 2019 draft rapidly approaches. Has John Elway brought his poker face to the party? Or will No. 7 select a quarterback to develop behind Flacco?