Mile High Report weighs in.
With John Elway stepping up, the Broncos are looking for a new general manager. During Elway’s press conference on Monday, he made it clear that there would not be any sort of caveats during the interview process. The new GM would have control over the roster.
“They are both (head coach and GM) going to report to me, but the GM is going to have the control of the draft, he’s going to have control of the 53-[man roster] and free agency. He’s going to have that control.
The news sent Broncos Country into a bit of a frenzy about what that could mean for players like Von Miller, Justin Simmons, and Drew Lock. With the Broncos only just beginning their interviews, it’s very early. Even still, Mile High Repot had to weigh in.
Do you believe the new GM will commit to Lock as QB1 in 2021?
Scotty Payne: Probably to piss me off. That’s not a good answer, but probably how it happens.It will be an early test to see how much say Elway truly has. If they target one in the draft OR bring in a vet to start, Elway is truly not meddling with the new GM.I hope they at LEAST look into the market/class seriously.
Ian St. Clair: If this is an honest and true general manager with “final say” of the Broncos roster, no.
Joe Mahoney: Yes, unless the third best QB in the draft falls to 9. Let’s say that’s Zach Wilson. If the new GM falls in love with Wilson at the combine, I could see if getting him if he falls to 9. The Jags, Jets, Eagles, Lions and Panthers all could pick a QB, but only the Jags are a sure bet to do so. The new GM may also really like Darnold, Wentz, or Stafford all of whom could be in play for the Broncos in 2021.
Tim Lynch: Yes, I think they will. Drew Lock made just enough strides late in the season for the team to put a focus on the defensive side of the ball in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Adam Malnati: For a season, yes. That’s pretty much all this coaching staff and starting QB have to prove themselves to the new GM. Elway isn’t making any decisions. He was the one who was pushing Lock. Unless a big move is made to move up and take on of the top QBs in this class, Lock is going to get 2021 to make that final leap forward, or fail.
Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann: I don’t even care. Just don’t go after a retread QB and overpay for putting off inevitable development of a young quarterback at some point in the near future.
Taylor Kothe: I think Lock will get a real chance to start, but will also get real competition for the first time since Denver drafted him. With Elway hanging around for a year, in whatever capacity that actually entails, and a coaching staff that will get a 3rd season, it makes sense to give continuity a chance… with competition. If it doesn’t work out (read: sub-.500 season and/or miss playoffs), expect the new GM to blow it all up in 2022 and bring in his own choices for head coach and QB once Elway’s ridden back into the sunset.
Jeff Essary: I think it will be the other way around. Lock will need to prove he can win the starting job, as the new GM will have zero incentive to commit to a player who hasn’t proven he’s the real deal, yet. With a new decision-maker, I wouldn’t assume any position on the roster is safe, or at least won’t get a second look.Drew Lock is far from a sure thing at this point, based on what he’s put on tape, so why would a new GM not explore his options?I think Lock ultimately has the easiest path to become the Broncos starting QB in 2021, but that doesn’t mean they won’t select a QB in the draft to sit as insurance in case Lock flops, or explore the free agent/trade market.
Joe Rowles: I suspect Elway sticking around for another year means he will have significant sway in what actually occurs with the Broncos this year. Until we see clear signs that the new GM has real power over every aspect of the roster, I find it hard to believe. Everything we’ve heard from insiders like KOA’s Benjamin Allbright hint at this.
I also believe it’s going to be pretty hard to grab a quarterback that fits into the Broncos’ current timeline and cap situation. Last week I went over all the potential alternatives that makes sense. While a Matthew Stafford could hold some appeal if available, he’ll cost a metric ton in terms of draft capital and force the Broncos to really juggle their current cap situation. He’s also significantly older than the core players on the offense and his cap figures would complicate extending Courtland Sutton, Dalton Risner, and others.
If the Broncos want to actively pursue any other obvious replacement, they’re at the mercy of the draft order barring a trade up. It’s so early in the process things could change, but most expect Trevor Lawrence and either Justin Fields or Zach Wilson to go within the first two picks of the draft. It seems optimistic to hope for the other to fall all the way to ninth overall with so many teams searching for a franchise passer.
My guess right now is the Broncos look to upgrade on Jeff Driskel and Brett Rypien for Lock’s backup job. The spin machine will push an Andy Dalton or Nick Foles type as competition, while they’re really just there to serve as a parachute. From there they give Lock 2021 to flourish or flounder before they set their sights on a weaker 2022 QB class.