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Could George Paton, Broncos be looking at a 2nd-round QB?

Apr 28, 2021, 6:50 AM | Updated: 7:51 am
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos have done the research on the top quarterbacks in the upcoming NFL Draft, but the buzz is maybe they won’t draft a QB in round one.

On several occasions, 9News Broncos Insider Mike Klis mentioned on 104.3 The Fan he doesn’t see general manager George Paton and Denver trading up too far for a quarterback. Maybe someone falls to them at No. 9 or maybe Denver trades up with the Detroit Lions at No. 7.

Paton is a guy who likes to have double-digit picks for the draft, saying last week, “We always liked to have 10-plus and just have more darts.” While an assistant GM with the Minnesota, the Vikings never traded up from their original first-round pick.

But the new Denver GM has continued to emphasize how much the organization likes Drew Lock while also saying they want to bring in competition for the young gunslinger.

Denver has been linked to Carolina quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who played under Paton with the Vikings. But a trade with Panthers likely means the Broncos will have to eat quite a bit of his salary to get a deal done.

Bridgewater could definitely compete with Lock, but would a first-round draft pick? If Denver selects a quarterback like Mac Jones, Justin Fields or Trey Lance, he should be starter over Lock from day one.

You don’t draft a first-round quarterback to compete with your current starter. You draft him to be “the guy.”

One issue, though, is head coach Vic Fangio more than likely doesn’t want the Broncos to start over with a rookie quarterback from day one, let alone take one in the first round.

Paton might be hoping all top-five quarterbacks are off the board before Denver picks at No. 9. The GM also mentioned he hasn’t contacted any teams about moving up the draft board, though he has had discussions about moving back.

Last week, Paton said there could be five or six quarterbacks taken in the first round. Reading between the lines, that could mean Paton and the Broncos think a guy like Florida’s Kyle Trask could have a high second-round grade and could sneak into the first round.

Maybe Denver thinks they can grab Trask with their second-round pick and let him compete with Lock for the starting job.

Trask played in 24 games during the past two seasons with the Gators, throwing for 68 touchdowns and just 15 interceptions. Last season, Trask threw for 4,283 yards while completing 68.9 percent of his passes.

The Florida gunslinger stands 6-foot-5 and isn’t the running type of quarterback some people around the league hope for, but he was mobile enough. Plenty of times Trask was asked to run the read option and quarterback draw.

But one thing that stands out from Trask is his anticipatory throws he can make across the middle of the field.

With Paton being a first-time general manager under a six-year contract, he might think he doesn’t need to go all-in right away on a quarterback he might not be in love with.

If Denver drafts a quarterback outside the first round, it doesn’t mean they’re stuck with him long term. The Broncos could draft a second-round QB and still go after a big name next offseason — or even gear up to grab a first-rounder in next year’s draft.

Don’t be shocked if Paton plays it conservative Thursday night in round one and drafts a quarterback to compete with Lock later in the draft.

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Could George Paton, Broncos be looking at a 2nd-round QB?