The Denver Broncos will be making their first pick in the NFL Draft very soon. Ian St. Clair and I discussed the possibilities on the MHR Radio Podcast. In the end, we came to a pretty simple conclusion.
It has to be a quarterback. You can call me a “casual” if you want, but the news of Teddy Bridgewater being traded to Denver makes the case that this has to be the move.
Broncos and Panthers were involved in serious Bridgewater trade talks in March. But his contract, and who would pay what, made it complicated.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) April 28, 2021
This does not rule out Broncos taking QB at No. 9. Bridgewater-Lock to compete for now. But new young QB still possible. #9sports
After weeks of Twitter battles, and people arguing back and forth about Drew Lock’s abilities, this can be the only conclusion. As I told Ian on the show, George Paton could play it safe and pick a non-QB, or trade back. As a new GM, he might want to wait, and not tie himself to a QB until he has been in the role for a season. He has a chance to take a redshirt year because he was handed someone else’s QB and coaching staff.
There are also several players that could impact the team, making the Broncos better. But in the end, it all comes back to the same sentiment ...
The Broncos are a QB away. Looking at the roster, it’s not a completed puzzle, but the one missing piece is the guy under center.
And I understand the feeling from some that Lock could make a big jump in 2021. I hear the Josh Allen comparisons. I’ve made them, but in the end, it’s hard to expect that. It’s hard to believe that a second-round draft pick, who was passed on by every team in the NFL at least once, will become what Allen has become.
But I look at it like this: If I have to bet on whether or not Lock can make that historic leap, I have to bet against it. It’s just not a safe bet. I’m much more comfortable betting on one of the top guys in this draft becoming a franchise QB. If you’re putting your money on one of those options, the mortgage is safer with Justin Fields or Trey Lance than it is with the idea that a second-round Draft pick will suddenly develop the way Allen did.
And a quick reminder, Lock wasn’t even the Broncos second pick in the 2019 Draft. Why is that important? It gives Denver an out. It allows for Paton to move on without giving up on a first-round pick.
In the history of the Denver Broncos, there have only been four QBs drafted in round one. Tommy Maddox was the first in 1992, followed by Jay Cutler in 2006, Tim Tebow in 2010 and Paxton Lynch in 2016. Not exactly a who’s who of Broncos greats. Cutler was the closest to becoming the face of the franchise, but he wasn’t even a top-ten pick.
Now, Paton and the Broncos have a shot at drafting a potentially franchise shifting player. A QB who could take this team, with tons of weapons, compete. It’s a gamble. It’s all a gamble, but if I had to choose where to place my chips, Lock just isn’t the safe play.