New offseason, same goal for the Broncos: find a quarterback.
Except this time for Denver and general manager George Paton, the team won’t go shopping on the clearance rack (i.e., Teddy Bridgewater in 2021). Paton said at the NFL Scouting Combine Tuesday that Denver will be aggressive in its pursuit for a difference maker at the quarterback position.
“We just want the best guy. We don’t care if it’s free agency. We don’t care if it’s the draft. We don’t care if it’s a trade,” Paton said. “We’re going to exhaust all options to try to get the best guy for the Broncos.”
With the hiring of former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as head coach last month, Paton appeared to send the message that the Broncos would be in the Aaron Rodgers sweepstakes.
But with Rodgers still under contract in Green Bay, Paton isn’t able to publicly discuss the possibility of trading for Rodgers. He instead opted to mention Drew Lock and Brett Rypien, Denver’s lone quarterbacks under contracts.
Set to enter his fourth season in 2022, Lock’s 8-13 record as starter and 25:20 TD/INT ratio is underwhelming for a second-round selection, leaving Paton with no choice but to continue looking at alternative options.
“It’s the most important position in sports, so we’re always looking,” Paton said. “And we do have Drew Lock under contract, we have ‘Rip’ [Brett Rypien]. But we’re always looking. And we’re gonna [leave] no stone unturned to find that guy. We know we need better play out of the quarterback position, so we’re going to be aggressive.”
While the Broncos hold the 9th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, selecting a quarterback might not make the most sense. In a “down” quarterback class, finding a franchise quarterback appears unlikely. And given Denver’s recent history of drafting quarterbacks (Lock, Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler, Tim Tebow), free agency might be the better route if they’re unable to land Rodgers or another trade candidate such as Russell Wilson.
However, Paton said that he will do his due-diligence on the quarterback class.
“We’ll sit down with all of them, obviously, watch them compete with other really good quarterbacks,” Paton said. “And this class is an interesting class. You have five or six talented guys and they’re all different. So we all need to really hone down and sort it out and stack them and see who’s best for the Denver Broncos, if we go that direction in the draft.”
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