2016 Broncos Season — Quarterback Options
The Broncos' off season continues, and one key position has been the focus of a lot of the discussion — quarterback. With the NFL Draft just a couple weeks away, the Broncos appear poised to make a move in some way. Below is a look at a couple options.
Option 1: Draft a QB.
Pros: This could give them a young player they can mold for years to come. Drafting a quarterback high, to go along with second year pro Trevor Siemian, gives the Broncos a chance to be forward-looking.
Cons: This isn't a great draft for quarterbacks. In addition, the Broncos appear to be in a win-now mode. That sounds funny given that the team just won a Super Bowl, but the nucleus of good young players is in tact. The Broncos have a great defense, and the window to win titles is small. Do the Broncos really have time to wait a year or two to develop a QB? In this scenario, too, Mark Sanchez would obviously be the starter for 1-2 years. Will that work?
Likely Option: In mock drafts the Broncos have taken either Paxton Lynch, a development project from Memphis that has a lot of raw skills, or Connor Cook out of Michigan State. Cook is supposed to be the most pro-ready, but still is a bit of a question.
Option 2: Sign or trade for another veteran
Pros: This is a cheap option that gives the Broncos some depth and competition.
Cons: The Broncos would still need a long-term option. That means either all the eggs go in the Siemian basket, or the Broncos still have to draft a QB. Also, that means Denver has to carry three or four QBs all season. That seems like a stretch given the other needs.
Likely Options: The names most frequently discussed are Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Hoyer. That doesn't bring a lot of excitement to anyone. Fitzpatrick is older, inconsistent, and wants too much money. He's also been up-and-down in his career, and turn over prone. He had a great year in 2015, no one can deny that, but is it repeatable? I'm skeptical. Hoyer also does't generate a lot of excitement. Hoyer was serviceable at best in the regular season (though he posted similar numbers to Brock Osweiler), but we saw him in the playoffs. He was a chasm that killed the Texans' chances in the playoffs. Not sure that's an upgrade on Mark Sanchez, in fact I don't think it is.
Option 3: Trade for Colin Kaepernick
Pros: It's not a big cost in terms of picks (the rumor is a fifth round pick). Kaep has played in three conference title games and a Super Bowl. Just three years ago he was considered a top tier QB, and with good coaching and a better offense he could return to form.
Cons: It's a long-term option that has costs. Right now the Broncos would need to get him to agree to a $4.9 million cut in order to bring him for 2016, and they'd need to re-structure his long-term deal going forward, too. Also, is Kaep able to come back. He has struggled the past two seasons, and there are questions about him long-term. Of course, the 49ers struggled as a team the past two seasons and virtually imploded without Jim Harbaugh. So how much is Kaep to blame? No one really knows.
Upon Further Review: Let's consider this from a new angle. Look at these Four QBs Stats:
QB A: 61.8% completions, 1,967 yards, 10 TDs and 6 INTs
QB B: 59% completions, 1,615 yards, 6 TDs and 5 INTs
QB C: 55.3% completions, 1.881 yards, 15TDs and 12 INTs
QB D: 59.8% completions, 2,249 yards, 9TDs and 17 INTS
Who are those QBs? A is Brock Osweiler, B is Colin Kaepernick, C is Andrew Luck and D is Peyton Manning. Now Kaep didn't put up as many yards or TDs (all played 10 or fewer games in 2015), but he also didn't have much in the way of weapons. In fact, his best receiver — Vernon Davis — was traded mid-season. How about this comparison:
QB A: 60.2% completions, 3,822 yards, 23 TDs and 9 INTs
QB B: 58.4% Completions, 3,197 yards, 21 TDs and 8 INTs
Who are those QBs? A is Andrew Luck and B is Kaepernick from 2013, which was Kaep's first season as a full time starter. The yardage is lower, as is the completion percentage by a bit, but both are somewhat equal on TDs and INTs. That gives me some hope that Kaep, who would be playing in a better offense with better players, could have a bounce back year with the Broncos.
All three options have pros and cons, it's just a matter of degrees. This next month should give us the answer on which direction the Broncos will head.