Should The Broncos Draft A Quarterback?
Jay Cutler, Kyle Orton, Chris Simms, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning. These have been the starting quarterbacks for the Denver Broncos since 2006, but the big question is, who will be take over for Manning when he ends his storied career?
Ever since John Elway has taken over the Broncos' personnel department, he has made sure he has had the right quarterback to win games and get to the Super Bowl. In 2012, Elway signed the best free agent in NFL history in Manning. One month later, he drafted a quarterback in the second round from Arizona St. by the name of Brock Osweiler. The pick raised a lot of eye brows. To this day, Osweiler has yet to start a regular-season game for the Broncos. A lot of people I have talked to love Osweiler because he is a big guy at 6-8 and has a huge arm.
Manning’s contract runs through 2017. Unless he decides to “hang ‘em up” and retire before then, Osweiler will have played out his rookie contract, which expires in 2015, without ever having started a single game for the Broncos.
The Broncos drafted yet another quarterback in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft in Zac Dysert from Miami (Ohio). Watching Dysert on film reminds me a lot of a young Elway scrambling out of the pocket while still being able to make plays with his great accuracy down the field. But yet again, Dysert’s contract ends after the 2016 season. Dysert didn’t suit up once all year during the regular season as he was designated as the Broncos third-string quarterback every week. A number of people have told me that he works and studies film just as hard as Manning does, but once again, his contract expires after the 2016 season.
The Broncos own pick No. 31, but let’s face reality; they will not draft a quarterback that early. What about in rounds 3-7? Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles or Teddy Bridgewater won’t be available past the second round, but what about a guy like Stephen Morris from the University of Miami (Fla.)? The Broncos brought Morris in for a private workout at Dove Valley. Morris is projected to go in the seventh round or might even go undrafted. Morris stands at 6-2 and is a quick athlete who can get out of danger if he needs to. Morris has a lot of work to do on his footwork, and who better to learn from than Manning?
Another quarterback that could be there in the third round is Aaron Murray from Georgia. Murray’s draft stock has dropped dramatically since he tore his ACL late in the season last year. Murray is undersized at 6-1, but that doesn’t seem to be a huge problem anymore. Murray ran a pro-style offense in college throwing for over 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns to only nine interceptions. Murray could be a steal in this year’s draft.
The Broncos will obviously address other needs earlier in the NFL Draft early due to their “win-now” mentality, but will also have to look forward to the future as well. This is a deep quarterback class. Unless the Broncos value Osweiler or Dysert enough to be an adequate replacement for Manning, don’t be surprised to see the Denver Broncos use a draft pick on a quarterback in Day Two or Three of the 2014 NFL Draft.