The Broncos are heading into the 2020-2021 season feeling very optimistic about their revamped roster. Under center for the team will be second-year quarterback from Missouri, Drew Lock. In five games Lock put up 1,020 and seven touchdowns with three interceptions after taking over in the middle of the season.
While Lock played well in a small sample size there’s no way to tell whether or not it’ll carry over to next year. The Broncos face the third hardest schedule for a quarterback this season which is a lot to put on Lock who’s only started five games in his NFL career. GM John Elway may not want to put his trust in Lock if he fails to step up to the challenge of this season, so looking for other options next year isn’t out of the picture.
In The Next Offseason
The 2021 free agent quarterback pool is nothing special but there are some quality starters that could fit into Pat Shurmur’s system. Some quarterbacks that are listed as possible free agents will most likely be re-signed by their current teams like Jameis Winston in New Orleans. Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson will get lengthy extensions making them untouchable. That leaves a small pool of experienced quarterbacks who could be the solution.
Brissett’s name might not be the first you think of when you think starting quarterback, but on the flip side of that, he’s solid and cheaper than a lot of other options. Brissett has put up average numbers in his four-year career but he provides more than what’s on the stat sheet. Brissett spent his first year in New England learning under Tom Brady before being traded to Indianapolis in 2017. He has been in Indy for three seasons learning a west coast playbook similar to Pat Shurmur’s. In the two seasons where he saw the field, Brissett passed for 6,040 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Dak Prescott or Andy Dalton
At the end of the 2020-2021 season, the Cowboys have a tough decision to make. Either keep proven veteran quarterback Andy Dalton or stick with the younger Dak Prescott who still has room to grow. Contract-wise it’ll be too hard to bring back both so whoever ends up walking, the Broncos might want to sign. Both quarterbacks have proven that with the right pieces around them they can shine but they have some major differences. Even though Prescott is an above-average quarterback he comes with a hefty contract. The Cowboys recently franchise-tagged Prescott for $31.4 million making him one of the highest-paid players in the league. Dalton on the other hand signed a one year deal only worth $7 million. Both quarterbacks are viable options for the 2021 season it’s just a question of who’s available.
In The Draft
If all goes wrong the Broncos may look to draft a quarterback in next year’s draft to give Lock some competition. The quarterback headliners of that draft are predicted top five picks, most likely leaving the Broncos with little chance of snagging one. However, the alternatives aren’t so bad.
North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance has been on fire in the FCS. Lance dominated last season passing for 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns in his first year starting for the Bison. The stat that stands out the most though is his lack of interceptions, throwing none in the 2019-2020 season. The only issue is that these stats come against FCS competition. That being said North Dakota State product Carson Wentz seems to be holding up just fine in the NFL.
Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy might offer the most value at the position in next year’s draft. He’s predicted to go late first round but could easily fall to the middle of the second. Purdy had a monster season last year passing for close to 3,982 yards and 27 touchdowns. He can also get it done on the ground racking up 249 yards and eight touchdowns on 93 attempts last season. He’s a little on the shorter side for a quarterback at 6-foot-1 but his mobility makes up for it.
If the front office wants to jump the gun and bring in some veteran quarterback competition Cam Newton is the guy. The former MVP, Newton already said he’s willing to accept a backup role. Making this move would allow the Broncos to shift some weight off the second-year quarterback Lock. It’ll also leave the team more equipped to use the pieces they have in place for a playoff run.