Missouri Florida Football

Draft prospect Missouri quarterback Drew Lock (3) throws a pass between Florida linebacker Vosean Joseph (11) and linebacker David Reese II (33) during the second half of a game Nov. 3, in Gainesville, Fla. Missouri won 38-17.

The Broncos have drafted 44 quarterbacks in 59 years.

Drew Lock should be the 45th and the pre-eminent one.

Don’t you think it’s about time to get one right?

One who can start at quarterback for a minimum of five seasons, one who doesn’t just pass by in Denver and through Colorado for a season, one who can lead the Broncos to more than a lone playoff victory, one who would be a starting quarterback to win more than 26 games, one who isn’t a complete jerk and a loser, and isn’t run out of town after starting for less than three seasons, one who doesn’t start 19 games in four years and compiles a 2-15-2 record, one No. 1 draft pick who was on the drubbed side in all four of his starts, and one No. 1 draft pick who also starts four games and prevails in just one.

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Can we get at least one quarterback draft choice here who knows how to play football and isn’t named Charley Britt, Sonny Gibbs, Mickey Slaughter, Scotty Glacken, Buster O’Brien, Mike Franckowiak, Tommy Maddox, Jay Cutler, Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch or Chad Kelly?

In comparison with those guys, Columbia Fireflies baseball player Timmy Tebow wasn’t so ghastly. He was 8-6 as a starter in the regular season and 1-1 in the postseason.

Only two other quarterbacks chosen by the Broncos in drafts had records above .500 as a starter. Brian Griese was 26-24 and Gary Kubiak 3-2.

Sure, the Broncos have possessed outstanding Super Bowl quarterbacks — Craig Morton, John Elway and Peyton Manning. But they were drafted by the Cowboys, the Colts and the Colts.

Shockingly, John Elway, one of the five superior quarterbacks in NFL history, has proven to be an inferior quarterback picker in the draft.

Elway is 0-for-5 quarterbacks — Osweiler, Lynch, Kelly, Zach Dysert and Trevor Siemian — and 0-for-7 drafts.

I’m a better judge of quarterback talent than a Hall of Fame quarterback.

In 2012, when Elway selected his son’s former roommate at Arizona State in the second round (57), I preferred an Arizona quarterback — Nick Foles, who was the Pac-12’s No. 1 quarterback (drafted 88th) — and Rockies minor-league infielder Russell Wilson.

In 2016 my friend and I met Lynch at a pre-Super Bowl party in San Francisco. We both thought Paxton was a doofus. I preferred Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, who was drafted in the fourth round.

Elway realizes his quarterback blunders, including free agent Case Keenum.

So, he will try again. Know-it-alls claim the Broncos should wait until the 2020 draft because the field supposedly will be plentiful.

How long, oh Lord, must we wait?

After thoroughly analyzing the possible picks at quarterback in the last draft, Elway, among the greatest passers of all time, passed. He could have tried to trade up to choose Baker Mayfield (1) or Sam Darnold (3) or stayed in the fifth slot and secured Josh Allen (7), Josh Rosen (10) or Lamar Jackson (32). All started in 2018.

If this draft is so weak, why will four QBs be taken in the first round? Dwayne Haskins is primed to go first, followed by, in no certain order, Kyler Murray, Lock and Daniel Jones. Five franchises are hurting for quarterback futures — New York Giants (picking 6th), Jacksonville (7), Denver (10), Miami (13) and Washington (15).

The Broncos can move up to 2, 3 or 5 and get whoever they want, or they can stay where they are and secure one of the other three.

Lock should be available at 10.

Then, he can compete with Keenum, just as Elway did against another journeyman, Steve DeBerg, his rookie season. Elway won the duel and started for 16 seasons. The Broncos drool for another quarterback who would often lead them to the promise land over 10-15 seasons.

Missouri’s Lock is closest to Elway-like. At the Manning Passing Academy last summer he threw a pass of 70 yards for a touchdown and was judged by observers and the Manning Family the best of the horde of 39 college quarterbacks.

Lock will be evaluated again this week at Senior Bowl practices. Elway et al. will be on site. But, then, Elway and Kubiak were in Columbia, Mo., (Lock’s birthplace; both his father and grandfather played for Mizzou) in November for the Tigers’ 38-0 victory over Arkansas, as Lock threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder broke Peyton’s Southeastern Conference passing records, with 99 touchdowns in four seasons.

Lock said at a media conference Monday he is the top quarterback in the draft, and that he’s sneaky athletic. Lock, who can run, was an all-state high school basketball player.

He has an ICBM arm, can make the range of throws and has a confident pocket presence. He can be inaccurate and does need fancier footwork.

But, when I saw Elway play at Stanford in ‘82, I had the same reactions.

Lock once threw seven touchdowns in a game. Manning had seven in a game for the Broncos.

If Lock is impressive at the Senior Bowl and the NFL combine, he’s a lock for the top 10, and the Broncos must end their lockup in the pit of misery with quarterback draft picks.

Denver, do Drew.

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