I know. You have been inundated with articles about quarterbacks. I’m sure you have had your fill of speculative articles about what the Denver Broncos will, or should, or shouldn’t do with the most important position on the field.
On the MHR Radio Podcast, Ian St. Clair and I started to get into our draft discussions that will be ongoing until the 2021 NFL Draft. As George Paton prepares to use Denver’s 9th pick, he could choose to go in any number of directions.
Allow me to make an argument for selecting a QB in the first round.
There had been reports of the Broncos being in talks with the New York Jets about a trade for Sam Darnold. Those reports seem to be less than accurate, but it brings up an interesting point. There is an advantage to having control of a young QB on a rookie contract, with the possibility of picking up his fifth year option.
Drew Lock’s performance at the end of his rookie season prompted some in the media to lament having waited until the second round to draft him. Whatever side of the argument you might have been on then, there is definitely an advantage to drafting one of the top QBs in this year’s draft.
Without making any predictions, it certainly looks like the Broncos could have a chance to draft one of the top QBs. Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson look like locks to go 1-2. It gets a little murkier after that, but the 49ers moved up in a big trade to the third spot, and have made no secret of their feelings about Mac Jones.
"As difficult as it is for me to believe, people in the league tell me they believe it in their gut to be Mac Jones (at No. 3 to the #49ers)." @TonyPauline on San Francisco's potential plans with the third pick in 2021— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) April 1, 2021
That leaves Trey Lance and Justin Fields. If Paton is truly enamored with one of those two, it might be necessary for the Broncos to trade up in the draft. Ian has said this on the podcast several times. Making the big move to get your guy would be huge in this spot.
Looking at the draft, with the first two picks all but decided, what else could happen. Again, San Francisco at 3 looks like the new home for Mac Jones. Picks 4-8 go to the Falcons, Bengals, Dolphins, Lions, Panthers, followed by the Broncos at 9. Of those teams, Cincinnati is the least likely to draft a QB because of Joe Burrow. Tua Tagovailoa pushes Miami out of the conversation.
Matt Ryan is getting old, but his new contract could make drafting a QB seem like a waste. They seem to be leaning towards Kyle Pitts at this time. The Lions just acquired Jared Goff. Essentially, this is a 2 horse race, with Carolina and Denver vying for one of the top QBs.
Of the two QBs, I’d be fine with either Fields or Lance. The one thing they both do for the Broncos is reset the QB clock. Drew Lock’s contract situation makes a move like this simpler. Having a young QB, on a rookie contract, and an eventual decision on a 5th year option make the idea of a rookie QB enticing.
For me, it’s Fields if the Broncos have a chance to pick either of the two mentioned. And I don’t want to make this about Drew Lock’s talent. He has struggled at times, and he has had some success. But if you can get a guy with similar talent, reset the rookie QB clock, and still compete, why not go for it.
In his first draft, George Paton could build on his strong free agency period, and set the Broncos up for success for the next 4 to 5 seasons.