After reading many articles from various sources and seeing the ‘mock’ drafts being put out already, it got me thinking – “With the history of Elway as a GM, do you trust him to draft the Quarterback of the future with pick 5 or go best available player?”
With the playoffs still going on and free agency weeks away, it’s tough to determine the direction the team will take in terms of what to do with pick 5. There is no guarantee a top 5 quarterback going to the hall of fame, just like there is no guarantee that a 7th round quarterback has no chance of getting there at all. The draft is a lottery with gambles being placed in each round and trust being placed into the hands of scouting networks from across the country who have spent hours upon hours watching film and offering the eyeball test from the stands.
As you can see from the table above, Elway has had better success with later rounds and struggled to draft anybody worth keeping from 2013. Overall, under Elway, the Broncos have drafted 54 players of which 28 players are still on our roster which is a strike rate of 51.8%. Elway had Peyton Manning, so drafted a quarterback was never a priority like it is at this moment in time. Drafting Osweiler in 2012 as the heir apparent fell apart thanks to Manning putting on his Superman cape and rescuing the Broncos at home to the Chargers before riding the Broncos all the way to victory in Super Bowl 50.
Osweiler wasn’t happy at being yanked out the game at the first opportunity of him struggling and went the free agency route to the Texans. The only other high draft picked quarterback is Paxton Lynch. Paxton struggled his first year to beat out 7th rounder Trevor Siemian and seemed to go downhill his second year and lose the quarterback battle again to Siemian.
I’m sure if you analyse every GM from every team there will be glaring mistakes made in every round as nobody is perfect plus the draft is a lottery like I’ve said before. With question marks over the squad after a 5-11 season and coaches getting released and replaced I’m glad Bill Musgrave and Joe Woods kept their respective co-ordinator jobs. Nobody wins from firing coaches and constantly having the playbooks change, playbook language altered and a mass turnover of free agents and draft picks. As each co-ordinator sits down and looks at their respective rosters I hope they address the key areas early in free agency setting up a, draft the best available player policy, instead of accepting a certain player because it’s a position of need.
If I was John Elway sitting with the 5th pick in my hand, I’m waiting for 1 player and 1 player only to drop to me or I’m trading back and securing some more picks. That player is Saquon Barkley. The Penn State running back in my opinion is the best available player and should go round 1 pick 1. In 38 games he amassed over 5000 yards, scoring 51 TDs on the ground and through the air. Just to add a finishing touch to his arsenal he also threw 2 TD’s and ran back 2 kickoffs from 19 attempts.
If Barkley goes picks 1-4 then I would look for a trade partner and see if we can obtain outstanding value. Needing multiple key positions this offseason, free agency and this draft class could set us up for years or stump our growth.
The key this year is to draft the best available player that fits a coach’s scheme and not take a player just because he wants him. Hopefully the draft room has learned that lesson.