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Woody Paige: Will Trevor Siemian last with the Denver Broncos?

August 22, 2017 Updated: August 24, 2017 at 6:22 am
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photo - Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) during an NFL football training camp Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) during an NFL football training camp Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) 

SUPERMIAN!

Or Clark Kent?

Will Trevor Siemian be the best seventh-round pick ever to start for the Broncos, and only the second to start a playoff game? Can he possibly become the best NFL quarterback ever selected in the seventh round?

Can he be the best quarterback the Broncos ever drafted, which wouldn't be as difficult as it may seem, considering others the franchise drafted?

Will the NFL's lowest-paid starting quarterback ($628,196) be among the best in 2017? Can a quarterback ranked in the bottom six starters finish in the top dozen this season?

Coach Van Joseph says the choice of Siemian as the starting quarterback is "permanent"... Does "permanent" mean 16 quarters, 16 games or 16 seasons?

Is Siemian destined, or decent enough, to be the seventh Broncos' quarterback to start a playoff game in team history?

Or will he be a failure like more than 30 of his Denver predecessors?

Will he be remembered as Trevor Forever or Never Trevor?

And what about Paxton Lynch?

Eventual boom or bust?

Will he be another first-round one-hit wonder quarterback who barely passed in and through Colorado?

Will he be remembered as the QB who took a few seasons to develop into a starter and a star with the Broncos, or as a JAG (Just Another Guy) who was asked why he wasn't the starter and replied: "I don't know."

Faux Pas or Faux Pax?

All is To Be Determined (TBD).

Here are quarterback essentials to consider:

Siemian is one of three Broncos' seventh-round selection starters. Mickey Slaughter was 2-15-1 over four seasons (1963-66), and Jarious Jackson started the final game of 2003 - a defeat. Bradlee Van Pelt participated in three games in 2005, but never threw a pass. (Chad Kelly was the Broncos' latest seventh-round QB. Zac Dysert, another, is with his seventh team.)

Gus Frerotte, a 1994 seventh-round choice by Washington, played in 14 games for the Broncos (for an injured Brian Griese) in 1999-2000 (4-3) and started a wild card loss in Baltimore. Frerotte, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Cassel became the league's most successful seventh-round quarterback picks post-merger.

The Broncos have drafted 41 quarterbacks since their 1960 inception, but just four in the first round. Tommy Maddox was the first (25th overall) in '92, Jay Cutler (11th) in '06, Tim Tebow (25th) in 2010 and Lynch (26th) last year. Maddox and Tebow lasted two years in Denver, Cutler three. Only Tebow reached the playoffs and won a game. Their cumulative victory total was 27 (zero by Maddox).

History here doesn't bode well for Paxton (1-1).

Or Siemian, either.

Only two quarterbacks - John Elway and Craig Morton - have been principle starters for the Broncos for more than four seasons. However, Morton was dumped three different times in three of his five years. Three quarterbacks - Griese, Jake Plummer and Peyton Manning - started a majority of Broncos games over four years, but Plummer was replaced with Cutler in his final season, and Griese wasn't healthy for 16 games in any season.

The Broncos have tried a bunch of first-rounders originally in other team's organizations. Three, ironically enough, were picked No. 1 overall by the Colts - Elway and Manning, of course, and George Shaw, who was selected first by the Colts in 1955. (He was injured, and Johnny Unitas became the starter.) Shaw ended his career with the Broncos in 1962 with one start - a blowout loss to the Raiders.

Jacky Lee (the first quarterback grabbed by the Houston Oilers in the AFL), Patrick Ramsey, Don Horn, Chris Miller and Brady Quinn didn't do much (or anything) on the Broncos' roster. Steve Spurrier, chosen No. 3 overall by the 49ers, was cut in Broncos' camp in '77. Frank Tripucka, a first-round choice in the 1949 NFL draft, came out of retirement to spend his last four seasons as the Broncos' first starter. (He was benched his final year after two games.)

Since the merger, 19 quarterbacks have been selected in the 20s in the first round. Two - Dan Marino and Aaron Rodgers - became superstars. Most of the rest were Tebow, Quinn, Maddox, Johnny Manziel types.

Will Siemian last? What's Lynch's shelf life?

Nobody with the Broncos has been "permanent" for long.

Except Elway.

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