Talk about the roller coaster of emotions.
As I told Adam Malnati on the instant reactions MHR Radio Podcast for the NFL Draft, Denver Broncos fans used to have to go to the old Elitch Gardens at 38th and Tennyson and get on that old wooden roller coaster, Mister Twister, to experience this kind of hectic ride.
Now, it’s just Thursday in Broncos Country.
About an hour before the Draft started, smoke started to build that Aaron Rodgers was headed to the Broncos.
Pandemonium ensued, with nearly everyone asking, “What the hell is going on?”
Then it started to die down.
Again - I love Patrick Surtain II. My favorite corner in the 2021 class. The process George Paton followed to acquire him leaves me anxious.— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) April 30, 2021
Broncos could find themselves locked into QB purgatory.
Then the Broncos select Patrick Surtain II from Alabama. I have no doubt he’s a great cornerback, and could become a great one for Denver in the future. But he may not even get on the field in 2021. Unless this pick leads to Rodgers, it makes no sense. I get everyone is supposed to love a pick because he’s now a member of the Broncos, but this is ridiculous.
George Paton had the chance to get what a lot of people feel is the No. 2 quarterback in the Draft with Justin Fields, and he takes a cornerback. He could have traded down, like his old boss at the Minnesota Vikings did, to add more Draft capital. And now it comes out that Paton cooled on QBs because he got Teddy Bridgewater. What is going on with this franchise?
How does this pick, how does any of this, help the biggest issue for this franchise?
No matter how good your defense is, it doesn’t matter if you can’t score points. Is the expectation at Dove Valley that Vic Fangio is going shut out every opponent the Broncos face? This idea that you can just expect a dominant defense to do what it did in 2015 needs to stop. You would think the last five years would have served as a sledgehammer to that thought process. As we speak, neither Bridgewater nor Drew Lock are on the same level of Peyton Manning from the 2015 season. And if it does, as Andrew Mason pointed out, there’s a ceiling to that.
Point being: An elite D can get you a long way with avg. QB play. But there’s a ceiling to what you can accomplish.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) April 30, 2021
If Lock improves to lower-mid-tier or Bridgewater starts & remains average, I expect a season like ’16 HOU or the ’20 Rams. Nice, but where do you go from there?
As of right now, this selection by Paton and Denver makes zero sense. None. Zip. Nada.
Now, if it leads to Rodgers, which I think it eventually does, excitement and hope will return. As Cecil Lammey tweeted, Surtain is Green Bay’s No. 1 cornerback. If Surtain isn’t involved in a trade with the Packers, and Paton still gets Rodgers, then all of this is a major success.
For now, and unless Rodgers happens, it feels like the roller coaster didn’t just stop, it derailed.