It’s deja vu all over again for the Broncos in their pursuit of a quarterback
All of Broncos Country is in waiting mode as they hope each day brings news that Aaron Rodgers will be coming to Denver. As exciting as the prospect of Rodgers in Denver has become, it is far from certain.
There’s a good chance Rodgers doesn’t come to Denver. And if he doesn’t, the Broncos will be repeating history for the second straight season.
Last offseason, the Broncos were in desperate need of a franchise quarterback and were in the fortunate position of having a top-10 draft pick in a deep quarterback class. With Justin Fields and Mac Jones on the board, the Broncos opted to draft cornerback Pat Surtain and go with journeyman Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback.
This was reminiscent of 2018 when the Broncos had a need at quarterback and were picking in the top 10 of a deep quarterback class. Inexplicably, the Broncos drafted Bradley Chubb at No. 5 overall and would go with journeymen Case Keenum at quarterback.
The situations are identical.
The decision to not to draft a quarterback in 2018 was a mistake that has been felt for years. Passing on Josh Allen is a move that continues to haunt the franchise.
Without a young quarterback to build around and Keenum proving to be average, the Broncos headed into the 2019 offseason once again in need of a quarterback. In the 2019 offseason, the Broncos traded for Joe Flacco and drafted Drew Lock in the second round. Neither move worked out. Flacco was average in Denver prior to an injury and Lock was decent at best.
The Broncos had their opportunity last offseason to have a plan at the quarterback position and chose to kick the can down the road.
If Rodgers doesn’t come to Denver, the Broncos will end up with the 2022 version of Flacco-Lock. Jimmy Garoppolo and Carson Wentz, like Flacco, would be a known name at quarterback that would not get them any closer to a Super Bowl. Either player would be a move to create an illusion of success versus committing to building actual success.
The 2019 quarterback draft class consisted of Kyler Murray, Daniel Jones, Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock. Murray went No. 1 and has played well. The rest have underwhelmed, which is not surprising as Jones, Haskins and Lock were not expected to be franchise quarterbacks.
The 2022 quarterback draft class is more on part with the 2019 than it was 2018 or 2021.
In 2019, the Broncos attempted to find their next quarterback in a down year for quarterbacks. It would have been much easier to draft somebody at fifth overall in 2018.
Just like 2021 was a repeat of the quarterback situation in 2018, 2022 could be a repeat of the quarterback situation in 2019. The Broncos have managed to repeat the mistakes of recent history.
All indications are that the Broncos will swing big at the quarterback position this offseason. The Broncos had a much easier path last offseason and chose to ignore it. Now, they’re going to be forced to fix the quarterback position with a method that just three years ago was proven to not work.
Drew Lock was decent, but he was not the prospect of Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Justin Fields or Mac Jones. Based on the 2022 quarterback class, if the Broncos go the quarterback route this draft, they’re more likely to find a quarterback like Lock than a 10-year starter.
A Garoppolo/Wentz with a rookie would be Flacco/Lock all over again.
As different as it feels with George Paton in charge, without Aaron Rodgers, things will remain the same. Twice in the last five years the Broncos have drafted in the top ten with multiple options at quarterback and did not draft one.
Without Aaron Rodgers, the Broncos will find themselves spending multiple offseasons recovering for the mistake of the 2021 draft, much like they’re still recovering from the 2018 draft.
But, none if this matters if they land Aaron Rodgers. That would solve the problem.