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James Palmer: Denver is not the place for Trey Lance

Lance needs a team with a veteran mentor - and that is not the Broncos.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 11 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NFL Network’s James Palmer talked with Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright Monday night about a discussion he and his NFLN buddies Mike Silver and Steve Wyche had regarding Trey Lance - which team would actually be a good place for the raw rookie?

Although many analysts are excited about Lance’s upside - primarily his athleticism and arm talent - Palmer does not see the Broncos as a good landing spot for the one-year starter at North Dakota State.

While all the rookie QBs will bring growing pains to their new teams, the NFLN trio had agreed that Lance really is not a potential starter next year, so he needs a team where he can really learn for a season or two.

“A lot of the people I talk to say, ‘man, is he intriguing, but this could be a risk,’” Palmer said, adding that he’s not hearing from anyone that Lance should be playing next year. “Everybody wants him to sit and learn. So who does he sit and learn with from the Broncos?”

An excellent point.

Drew Lock? Hardly.

Pat Shurmur? Not likely. Unless Lock is dealt in a trade up to get Lance, Shurmur will have his hands full with the third-year QB.

A veteran quarterback? As of now, that person does not exist on the Broncos.

Allbright added that he had had the same thinking until he spoke with Randy Mueller, a former NFL executive, who believes the Broncos might be the perfect landing spot for the exact reason that Lance wouldn’t be ready to play next year. Lock could have his rightful prove-it year, and Lance would have his opportunity to get acclimated before getting thrown to the wolves.

That option may be a best-case scenario for Lock who wouldn’t really be competing for his starting position, but the question is whether it would be the best case for the Broncos? And it seems likely the worst-case scenario for Lance.

Palmer likes the talent on the Broncos and thinks in a year it could be a really good team, so if there were a good bridge quarterback for the Broncos this season, then Lance could make some sense for this roster.

But outside of that (such as acquiring Teddy Bridgewater or trading for Gardner Minshew/Nick Foles), he doesn’t really see it.

“Drew Lock is trying to learn everything on his own right now, and he’s swimming. He’s still trying to pick up the mental side of the NFL,” Palmer noted. “I don’t know how much he has to teach a guy like Trey Lance.”

Allbright also asked if Palmer thought Lance might have the greatest ceiling for quarterbacks in the Draft since he “probably has the lowest floor.”

But Palmer believes that while the ceiling is high for Lance, the highest ceiling belongs to Justin Fields, the former Ohio State quarterback that has gotten some traction with the Broncos in recent days.

In full disclosure, Palmer is a Buckeye alum, so there could be a tiny bit of bias there. But he has watched every game of Fields, and Palmer noted that since so much emphasis is always on Fields’ athleticism, people overlook what a pure passer he actually is.

“Ohio State pushes the football down the field. There aren’t wide receiver screens. Every ball is down the field,” he said, giving credit to his buddy and former NFL quarterback Sage Rosenfels for making that point. “He has a great touch on the deep balls. He has great touch on the intermediate throws. A lot of teams I’ve talked to believe he has the highest ceiling.”


Of the rookie QBs this year, which one do you predict will end up having the most success in 2021 with his new team?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Trevor Lawrence
    (699 votes)
  • 7%
    Zach Wilson
    (139 votes)
  • 2%
    Trey Lance
    (43 votes)
  • 26%
    Justin Fields
    (515 votes)
  • 12%
    Mac Jones
    (242 votes)
  • 16%
    Uncle Rico
    (335 votes)
1973 votes total Vote Now