The Broncos can’t afford to draft QB Trey Lance
The Denver Broncos cannot afford to draft Trey Lance. It’s that simple.
Denver has started a total of nine different starting quarterbacks since Peyton Manning has retired (10 if you count Kendall Hinton). None of those quarterbacks have proven that they could be a legitimate starter in the NFL.
The most recent example is Drew Lock. After ranking nearly dead last in almost every single passing category in his 2nd season Lock doesn’t seem to have the “it” factor to be the savior for Broncos Country.
Newly hired general manager George Paton has an opportunity to come in and change the culture of the Denver franchise, and he can do it with his very first draft pick as a general manager. The only issue is this franchise can’t afford to draft North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.
Lance is the wild card quarterback in this draft class due to the fact that he’s just 20 years old and played just one game last season. In that game, he didn’t look great against Central Arkansas. Lance completed just 50 percent of his passes for 149 yards, two touchdowns and the only interception of his college career. Lance did rush for two touchdowns in that game as well.
In his career at North Dakota State, Lance attempted just 16 passes per game. In his last full season in college, Lance had 287 pass attempts to 169 rushing attempts and 28 passing touchdowns to 14 rushing touchdowns.
The 20-year-old did complete nearly 67 percent of his passes, but go watch the film. Lance did have many of his wide receivers wide open, but watch where his ball placement is when his receivers catch it. A lot of times the ball was placed behind the receivers, and a number of times they had to slow down for the ball. That’s not going to be acceptable in the NFL with smaller windows to throw into and better competition in the secondary.
Of course Lance is exciting with his legs in the running game and can look like Lamar Jackson or Kyler Murray running the ball. But when’s the last time a running quarterback has won a Super Bowl? To win in the NFL, the quarterback needs to win from within the pocket.
Many experts and teams have said Lance would have to be a developmental type player, wherein he would have to sit behind a veteran quarterback for a year. Lance has been connected to the 49ers and Falcons because he can sit behind Jimmy Garoppolo and Matt Ryan for at least one season.
If Denver selects Lance with the ninth-overall pick, he could be starting very quickly in his rookie season. There’s no way that he would sit behind Lock and Bridgewater because the second Lock struggles the pressure would be on Vic Fangio and the coaching staff to make a move to the rookie quarterback.
Paton has said a number of times that he wants to bring in competition for Lock. But drafting a quarterback with the ninth pick would mean he will be replacing Lock sooner than later. It wouldn’t be a competition even with Bridgewater sitting on the bench.
Fangio and his coaching staff are on the hot seat this season, and if the team fails to get into the playoffs, there will likely be changes in the offseason. Fangio doesn’t have time to wait and develop another quarterback.
Paton signed a six-year contract when he was hired, but that doesn’t mean he has all of the time in the world. The first-time general manager needs to get the Broncos back into the playoffs quickly. Lock hasn’t proven he’s the future of the franchise, and a change to the quarterback room needs to happen.
At the end of the day, Denver can’t pick a quarterback that will be a project to start his NFL career. If the Broncos want to draft a quarterback that can come in and make a quick impact, Denver should select Mac Jones or Justin Fields if they’re available. If the Broncos are not in love with one of those quarterbacks, then go ahead and take the best player available on their board.
Denver can’t afford to go through another couple of years waiting for the next great franchise quarterback anymore.