Only two good QB options for Broncos in 2021
Only two options at quarterback make sense for the Denver Broncos in 2021: trade for Deshaun Watson or roll with Drew Lock for another year.
It’s that simple.
There has been plenty of talk suggesting if the Broncos can’t land Watson, they should try to bring in a veteran quarterback to compete with Lock or be a bridge quarterback.
There is no point of bringing in another veteran to “compete” with Lock as he enters his third NFL season. Veteran quarterbacks like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton or even Tyrod Taylor would beat out lock in a competition.
And even if those veterans earn the Broncos starting job, they’re not going to drive Denver deep into the postseason, let alone to compete for Super Bowl. They’d likely get Denver to an 8-8 record and force the club to pick in the middle of the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Such a draft position would mean the Broncos would have to make serious offers to move up to select a quarterback or go the same offseason route in 2022 as this year, hoping to find another average quarterback.
The “bridge quarterback” plan doesn’t work either, as it’s unlikely any potential free agent or trade targets would be willing to come in and play the mentor figure while Lock develops for the Broncos.
Quarterbacks like Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota won’t be willing to help Lock, as they’ll want to prove they deserve another opportunity to be “the guy.”
The best way for a young quarterback to develop is to play in real games. If they sit on the sidelines, and not get all the first-team reps in practice, there’s a minimal chance they will develop into a franchise quarterback.
Obviously, the No. 1 option for the Broncos is to trade for Watson, as he is a top quarterback in the NFL and has the ability to get Denver back to the Super Bowl. The only issue is Denver is also competing with about a dozen other teams looking to upgrade their quarterback position with the Texans star.
If Broncos general manager George Payton is unable to make a trade for Watson happen, the team will need to roll with Lock for one more year and see if he can make that giant leap to show he’s the right guy for Denver.
Lock would only be in his third NFL season and would have the same offensive coordinator in back-to-back season for the first time since his college days.
If Lock proves to be the wrong guy for the job, Denver will likely be selecting high in the 2022 NFL Draft. It’ll also likely means head coach Vic Fangio and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will be out of a job and a new coaching staff will be put into place.
In that scenario, Paton could line up a new head coach and pair him with a quarterback of his choice to align the team in the correct way.
If Denver does move on from Fangio and Shurmur, drafting a quarterback in the first round this year doesn’t make sense, as the next head coach and offensive coordinator would need to be sold who the Broncos selected.
The bottom line is Denver has two options: trade for Watson or ride with Lock one more time to see if he can take the next step. Otherwise, the team will once again be rebuilding in 2022.