The Broncos make more sense for Matthew Stafford than the Colts
After Chad Brown broke the news back in December, there has been a lot of speculation on where Matthew Stafford will end up. Multiple reports suggest that Indianapolis is the perfect fit for Stafford, but I got to thinking, maybe Denver is the better fit.
Let’s start with the draft position. Denver owns the ninth-overall pick in 2021, while the Colts own the 21st pick. It’s definitely easier for Indianapolis to give up their first-round pick because it’s later in the first round and it wouldn’t hurt them that much. Many people think that it wouldn’t be smart for the Broncos to trade the No. 9 pick to Detroit. Of all of the teams that could be interested in Stafford, Denver likely has the highest pick.
After the horrific quarterback play we saw last season in Denver and even the four seasons prior to 2020, Denver should be willing to trade away the ninth pick so that they can have a chance to win again. Even though Stafford doesn’t have a no-trade clause, Detroit will more than respectively allow him to have so input on where he gets traded too.
One of the most praised things about the Colts is their offensive line. Stafford would love to play with a great offensive line. That sounds great, except for the fact that their left tackle just retired!
That could be concerning for Stafford after being hit so many times in Detroit. If Stafford looks at Denver, he sees and All-Pro left tackle that just signed a four-year extension. Indy has a better offensive line, but Denver’s has improved more than most people thought and a second year with all of them will allow them to get more in sync.
When Stafford is looking and comparing both offenses, he will see how much more dangerous Denver’s weapons are compared to the Colts. Pro Bowl wide receiver Courtland Sutton will be back and ready to go and is on his way to becoming a star. Stafford could look at Sutton and treat him as the same type of player he had in Calvin Johnson up in Detroit. The Broncos will also have Jerry Jeudy back for a sophomore year and is on the verge of breaking out. Jeudy is arguably the best route runner in the game. Denver also has great receiving tight ends in Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam.
The Colts have needs in the receiving game. Not one of their tight ends had more than 400 receiving yards. The tight end position would help Stafford in the passing game by stretching and spacing out the field.
Indianapolis also needs to add another wide receiver to play opposite of T.Y. Hilton. None of the receivers for the Colts had more than 800 yards receiving and that was with Philip Rivers at quarterback.
Jeudy led the Broncos in receiving in just his rookie season with more than 800 yards and that was with Drew Lock playing quarterback. Sutton had more than 1,100 yards the previous season before getting hurt.
Another area that people have praised the Colts about is their running game. In Stafford’s career with Detroit, he’s only had one running back rush for 1,000 yards in a season. That was Reggie Bush.
Indianapolis has Jonathan Taylor, who got over the 1,000-yard mark, but they also have Nyheim Hines who has yet to rush for 400 yards in a season. The Broncos on the other hand have Phillip Lindsay, who has been a Pro Bowler and rushed for 1,000 yards in two of his three seasons in the NFL. Denver also has Melvin Gordon, who rushed for 1,000 yards back in 2017 and was just 14 yards away from doing it again in 2020.
It seems like the Broncos have the better offense. The numbers might not hype up the Denver offense, but they also had the worst-ranked quarterback throwing them the ball. Former Super Bowl 50 champion Tyler Polumbus also mentioned on 104.3 The Fan that Stafford would be perfect in Pat Shurmur’s offense.
On the defensive side of the ball, Denver struggled from being on the field more than needed, but also had some holes to fill. Denver lost Von Miller before the season started and we weren’t able to really see what the Miller and Bradley Chubb combo could really look like. The Broncos and Colts will add depth at the cornerback positions. Denver is also hoping that Michael Ojemudia can live up his hype after he showed some flashes by forcing turnovers early in the season. Indianapolis could look to bring back Trae Waynes.
The Colts finished last season with a top-10 scoring defense while the Broncos finished in the bottom half of the league in that category. Indy’s defense will return back to normal for the most part while Denver will have to add key pieces and trust the defensive brain by Vic Fangio to be a top half of the league defense.
I doubt Stafford would be worried about the ownership situation in Denver, but he could be nervous about the head coach in Vic Fangio. If Fangio isn’t the right guy after this season, Denver will move on from him and maybe Stafford would have next say in the hire. The Colts are unlikely to move on from Frank Reich anytime soon.
If the Broncos really wanted to make this move they have the assets to make it happen with their top 10 pick. Even though a lot of people think that the Colts are a better fit, you have to think how good the Denver offense can be with a top-10 quarterback running their offense. Stafford could lead the Broncos to the playoffs and beyond if he realizes that Denver is the better option from a talent and roster standpoint.
Don’t forget, John Elway and Peyton Manning left the Colts and had success being Broncos.