Of all the things that could’ve happened this offseason the Broncos gambling at QB seemed to be quite low on the list. With the number 9 pick in the NFL Draft tucked in their pocket and a number of options it seemed like they would finally make a move and land that franchise QB.
But just days before the draft the Broncos traded for veteran Teddy Bridgwater. Coming off another season in which he missed time to injury, Teddy was reasonably successful in Carolina putting up 3,733 yards and 15 touchdowns. But those 11 interceptions were worrying enough for the Panthers to jump ship and go in on Sam Darnold.
Bronco’s GM George Paton said, “Acquiring Teddy Bridgewater adds competition, experience and a strong veteran presence to our quarterback room. He’s a talented player and leader who’s had success in this league in a number of different situations.”
“Acquiring a QB will not stop the Broncos being in the market for a QB in the draft” sources whispered. Well you’d have to assume. Bridgewater isn’t exactly young, or prone to staying on the field, or winning for that matter.
BRONCOS GAMBLING AT QB EXTENDS THROUGH DRAFT
So it wasn’t the Broncos gambling at QB, it was them adding a veteran to the room. Makes sense. Until Justin Fields, many pundits number 2 QB in the draft, drops to you at 9. No brainer right? Apparently not.
Did the “Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay and would like to play in Denver” (among other places) stories throw the Broncos into turmoil? Or do they believe that Drew Lock is still the answer but needs a veteran back on the roster to teach him more?
But even if you were trading for Aaron Rodgers you still need your QB of the future on the roster. So passing on Justin Fields makes very little sense. So as the Broncos gambling at QB gets more extreme where does that leave them now?
You would assume Drew Lock is the presumptive starter with Teddy Bridgewater on a 1-year deal. However, PFF ranked Lock 26th out of 29 QB’s with at least 340 drop backs. Bridgewater ranked 24th. Lock did, however, have a better big-time-throw percentage, but a worse turnover-worthy-play percentage.
The picture we get is of a muddled QB taking too many shots. Which is almost the same as GM Paton this offseason, except he failed to pull the trigger on arguably the best option of selecting Justin Fields. Fields is a better prospect out of college than Lock was, and Lock has struggled in his two-years in Denver. The Broncos gambling at QB may be fun for outsiders to watch, but Broncos fans are not happy.
With Drew Lock’s poor play in 2020 it’s understandable for the Broncos to look for alternatives. But trading for an ageing, injury-prone veteran, and passing up on a blue-chip QB prospect is one of the more puzzling gambles of 2021. Teddy Bridgewater is probably a better option at the QB position right now, but where would that leave the Broncos after this season?
Aaron Rodgers isn’t coming to save the Broncos in 2021, or any other season. So if the Broncos gambling at QB is because of this they’ve shot themselves in the foot.