by: Will Keys
Despite locking up presumptive starter Case Keenum for the next two years and still having Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly behind him on the depth chart, the Denver Broncos will at least be considering a quarterback with the fifth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
There’s no consensus number one this year — no John Elway, no Andrew Luck, not even really a Matthew Stafford or Carson Palmer. And given that the Cleveland Browns own the first pick, there’s even a chance they might self-destruct, forget what sport they play, and accidentally draft DeAndre Ayton.
The five first-round quarterbacks are as follows: Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, and Lamar Jackson.
Every quarterback has his own strengths and weaknesses, so what are the factors that could make or break each one’s NFL career going forward? Let’s check it out.
Pro: Basically willed USC to a Rose Bowl victory over Penn State as a redshirt freshman.
Con: You can grab a beer during the time it takes for him to release the football (maybe a pro now that I think about it).
Pro: Mobile enough to overcome the Broncos offensive line.
Con: Might be a ginger, it’s hard to say.
Pro: Throws receivers open.
Con: Very generous when it comes to giving the football to the other team (he’s a nice young man).
Pro: Most pro-ready quarterback.
Con: Still kinda looks like he might be in eighth grade.
Pro: Had a hot tub in his dorm as a freshman.
Con: Feet and hands permanently pruned.
Pro: Great pocket passer.
Con: Might get injured by a strong gust of wind.
Pro: Can throw the ball 90 yards.
Con: When has anyone ever needed to throw the ball 90 yards?
Pro: Played in the same offense as Carson Wentz.
Con: Is not Carson Wentz.
Pro: Very tall and has big hands.
Con: Not very good at quarterback.
Pro: Great intangibles, natural leader.
Con: Planted flag on Ohio State’s field, imperialism is generally frowned upon in this day and age.
Pro: Throws with touch, won’t hurt receivers’ hands.
Con: Not even fast enough to outrun a cop, how is he supposed to outrun Justin Houston or Khalil Mack?
Pro: Had a sweet mustache at one point.
Con: Currently, mustacheless.
Pro: Most athletic quarterback in draft.
Con: Doesn’t have an agent, who’s supposed to be the awkward old guy at the table when he gets drafted?
Pro: Improved significantly as a passer last year.
Con: Bought his Heisman suit from Macy’s.
Pro: Able to extend plays and keep eyes downfield.
Con: Scored a 13 on the Wonderlic, may have trouble dividing without a calculator on the field.
Well, there you have it. Each of these quarterbacks brings something to the table, but they all have flaws and foibles they’ll have to overcome if they want to become successful NFL quarterbacks.
As far as their fit with the Broncos, John Elway and company are likely hoping that one of either Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, or Josh Rosen falls to five. Otherwise, if they’re truly intent on grabbing a quarterback in the first round, they might have to leapfrog the New York Jets, who traded up to the third pick and also need a quarterback.
The Case Keenum signing should prove to be a wise one not only because it’s a potential bargain, but it doesn’t pigeon-hole the Broncos in the first round. If their quarterback isn’t there at five, or if the Giants are simply asking for too much for the second pick, they can hang out and let the best player available fall into their lap (likely either Saquon Barkley, Quenton Nelson, or Bradley Chubb).
The draft is about two and a half weeks away, so buckle up and start hoping the Broncos don’t do something stupid.