The Denver Broncos have been searching for a true franchise quarterback ever since Peyton Manning retired at the end of the 2015 campaign. For a moment last year, it looked like Drew Lock could be the guy.
However, after showing some flashes as a rookie in 2019, Lock had a disastrous performance as the team's starter in 2020. Despite missing four games, the second-year QB threw an NFL-high 15 interceptions while owning the fourth-worst passer rating among 35 qualified signal-callers.
Unsurprisingly, there are now rumors that the Broncos aren't entirely sold on Lock as their franchise QB. If Denver elects to move on, here are three QBs the team can target to replace the Missouri product in 2021.
3. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
It goes without saying, but landing Deshaun Watson would be the best-possible outcome for the Broncos this offseason. It's also the least realistic option. The Houston Texans have held firm so far and appear to have no interest in trading the 25-year-old. Even if they do make him available eventually, it's hard to see how Denver would be able to put together a trade package that tops what the New York Jets or Miami Dolphins can send out. But that shouldn't stop the Broncos from trying, and Watson was rumored to be interested in coming to Denver. It's unlikely, but never say never.
2. Mac Jones, Alabama Crimson Tide
Though there are plenty of decent veteran signal-callers available in free agency and the trade market, most don't make sense for Denver to pick up. Aside from Watson, it feels like the most the Broncos would do is bring in a relatively cheap vet to compete with Lock. It just makes more sense for the front office to roll the dice on a potential breakout from Lock than it does to add someone like Andy Dalton. So if Denver is looking for a new franchise QB, it's likely to come via the NFL Draft. With the No. 9 pick, most of the truly elite options will be off the board when Denver is on the clock, but Alabama's Mac Jones should be within the Broncos' range. Coming off one of the most prolific seasons in college football history, Denver will have to at least think about pulling the trigger on Jones.
1. Trey Lance, North Dakota State
But if the Broncos want to find a new signal-caller through the NFL Draft, Trey Lance feels like the guy they'll pursue. Denver always seems to target players like Lance, who has excellent mobility and an absolute cannon for an arm. He's drawn a lot of comparisons to Josh Allen, who then-GM John Elway surely regrets passing on back in 2018. There will likely be a lot of QB-needy teams vying for Lance's services, though, so Denver might need to trade up from No. 9 overall to land him. Even so, it's easier to see the Broncos talking themselves into Lance than it is with Jones. Moving on from Lock after just two seasons is a pretty big risk. If the Broncos are going to swing for the fences, they might as well do it with Lance, who has upside that Jones simply can't compete with.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.