In the 2020 season, the Broncos finished bottom of the division with a 5-11 record. This was good (or bad) enough to land them the 9th overall pick in the 2021 draft. With the 2021 NFL draft a mere weeks away, many questions loom over the Denver Broncos: What should they do with the early pick, and will they concentrate on bringing in another quarterback or decide to keep Drew Lock?
One Point of View: Drew Lock Deserves More Time.
Many believe that Drew Lock deserves more time. In his rookie season, Lock’s favorite target was pro bowl receiver Courtland Sutton. Sutton missed all but two quarters of the 2020 season do to a shoulder injury and a torn ACL. Without his best target it was difficult for Lock to find chemistry, especially since two of his primary receivers were rookies last season. With a shortened offseason and new offensive coordinator, Lock faced many challenges in his sophomore season. He totaled 2,933 yards with 16 TDS and 15 picks on the season. The young quarterback’s turnovers and lack of production tend to be what are most-concerning for fans since John Elway made such an emphasis on bringing in offensive talent via last year’s draft. This is Drew’s spot to lose and it will be interesting to see how he performs in the hot seat in 2021.
Another Point of View: Fields or Bust
Now, shifting gears to another mindset, it is important look at the Broncos Draft options and why they should move on from Lock. This year’s draft class is loaded with talent at the quarterback position, even with the first overall pick — as it’s almost guaranteed Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence will go to the Jaguars. After that, anyone is on the table for the Broncos to grab. Assuming the Jets, Niners, and Falcons take a QB, the talent will be pretty limited at the number nine pick. And who knows if other teams won’t try to snatch their future QB either? The best hope for Denver is that Ohio State QB Justin Fields falls into their lap at #9.
In 2020, Fields threw for 2,100 yards, resulting in 22 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also lead Ohio State to the college football playoffs — where he took down Trevor Lawrence and Clemson.
Many believe Fields is the best option available for Denver if he falls down the draft board. Outside of him, it’s hard to trust other quarterbacks in this year’s draft. Denver has a project QB in Lock, and new rookie quarterback isn’t much better, why would they go through all the effort in drafting another one — potentially setting the team back a few years with the opportunity cost?
My answer is simple. Fields or Bust. If the QB is available at #9, the pick needs to be made. If not, Drew deserves the opportunity to prove himself and start. It’s important to note that it is not worth it for the Broncos to trade up in the draft, as the cost will be too much for an unproven quarterback.
But with all of this in mind, one thing is for certain: Many options are available. And, this year, the ball is in GM George Paton’s court.