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Is sitting pat at #12 and not going QB the equivalent of embracing the tank for the Broncos?

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By: Nick Burch


The Denver Broncos are out of position to draft a top-three QB prospect, but the team needs one like the human race needs oxygen; does the idea of not drafting one indicate a tank mentality?

The Denver Broncos, handcuffed by one of the worst deals in history, have done nothing in free agency but let players walk and go cheap on vanilla free agent options.

Again, for a cash-strapped team that still owes Mr. “Let’s Ride” more money than he’s ever earned, it is what it is. Yet, the idea is that the divorce that took place between Russell Wilson and the Broncos paved the way for the Broncos to draft their franchise QB.

Yet, not every draft analyst sees that as the case.

Of course, no draft analyst is savvy enough to predict trade ups or trade backs, so take it for the grain of salt that it is, but as everything goes with the Broncos, nothing that happens should come as a surprise. Sean Payton could trade the farm to get a top three pick, he could trade back to get more picks, and he could stand pat.

The first two options are indicators of a coach ready to compete ASAP. The third is indicative of a coach willing to coast in order to rid the team of a disgusting contract and get in better draft position. And that is not what Sean Payton was hired to do.

Therefore, when there continue to be mock drafts having the Broncos stay put at the 12th pick and drafting the likes of Brock Bowers, Byron Murphy, and Terrion Arnold, it is enough to put the thought into the head of Broncos Country: are we really going to enter the season without a starting QB?

Bowers, Murphy, and Arnold are elite at their position, there is no question about that. Yet, so was Pat Surtain II. And as good as he is, he isn’t exactly enough to change the tides of the Broncos future.

The most important position in football is QB. That is not opinion, but fact. The Broncos do not have one at the moment. Jarrett Stidham is not it. So it is imperative that the team look at the most successful NFL teams of today and see the difference.

Spoiler alert: it isn’t tight end, defensive line, pass rush, or secondary. It’s QB. Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, and Jalen Hurts have their teams atop of the league for a reason. They are damn good at the QB position, and therefore, their teams reap the benefits.

If the Broncos want to shift their fortunes, then the team cannot continue to bypass QBs in favor of “best player available”, because unless the best player available is a QB, the team will continue to wallow in mediocrity.

Payton, if he’s serious about winning (yes, Payton, not Paton, as that paper pusher is no longer in charge despite his title), needs to get his QB now. He bypassed every short-term option in free agency, which means he may not be willing to pay the price of a 21-year old like JJ McCarthy, but an older, less-flashy but equally effective (and more ready-to-start) option like Bo Nix should be the priority.

The 2025 QB class is not great. The 2024 class is not exactly the best of the best, either, but it has its legit prospects, several of whom could help the Broncos immediately. Therefore, the only position, despite what lazy draft analysts (at least we hope they’re lazy) want to mock up, is to get a QB at any cost.

Any thought of sitting idle and drafting BPA is the real-life version of fantasy auto-draft, and that’s not who the Broncos hired when they hired Sean Payton.

If the Broncos intend to go into the 2024 season with Jarrett Stidham and no QB drafted, then it’s simple…Payton intends on tanking. And that is just so on-brand for the current state of the Broncos.

For everyone involved…Payton, fans, the organization, the team…let’s hope the plan is to ignite the future of the franchise with the right call, not just take whoever is available.

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Originally posted on Mile High Report