Five guarantees about the Denver Broncos’ 2019 draft:
• They will draft a quarterback.
• They will not draft a quarterback who is 6-foot-6, -7 or -0.
• They will not draft a quarterback who hasn’t or can’t play under center.
• They will not draft a quarterback who doesn’t read defenses or books (as they did recently).
• They will not draft a quarterback who doesn’t understand the phrase “Thou shall not trespass.’’
This will be John Elway’s ninth draft and his sixth quarterback selected.
In fact, including the two Josh McDaniels drafts, the Broncos have picked seven quarterbacks in 11 seasons. From 2006-2018, the Broncos chose eight — Jay Cutler (first round), Tom Brandstater (sixth), Tim Tebow (first), Brock Osweiler (second), Zac Dysert (seventh), Trevor Siemian (seventh), Paxton Lynch (first) and Chad Kelly (seventh).
Only one — Osweiler — lasted more than three seasons, and he started just 11 games.
Just one quarterback drafted by the Broncos has started a playoff game in Broncos’ history.
Tebow, who shall live in infamy.
Will the quarterback the Broncos decide on this month ever lead the Broncos to the postseason?
Only free agents (Peyton Manning, Jake Plummer and Gus Frerotte) and quarterbacks obtained in trades (Craig Morton, Steve DeBerg and Elway) have been postseason starters.
Joe Flacco fits the form. He’s the third former Super Bowl MVP to be Broncos’ quarterback.
NFL experts, slapdash amateurs, local flunkies and mocked drafters have connected the Broncos to eight collegiate candidates.
The Broncos will have met with, worked out, watched at the NFL combine and Pro Days, or scouted at all-star games seven of them before the April 25-27 draft.
Drew Lock of Missouri came to Dove Valley this week and is scheduled to be followed by Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray. The Broncos’ braintrust flew to Duke to examine Daniel Jones. They held a private practice session with Northwestern’s Clay Thorson, saw Brett Rypien of Boise State at the East-West game and reached out to Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham at the Senior Bowl.
Throw in Tyree Jackson of Buffalo because one pseudo-draft has him chosen by the Broncos in a middle round, and I want to talk about the underclassman who declared prematurely. If Vance Joseph were still around, he’d say Jackson “is tall.’’
Jackson is 6-8 — taller than Lynch and Osweiler — and weighs 250 pounds. The Broncos are finished with incomplete and immature “tall’’ quarterbacks. Eliminate Jackson.
Murray, the wunderkind, will be selected No. 1 by the Cardinals, whose coach is drooling. Kliff Kingsbury signed to the Broncos’ practice squad Sept. 6, 2005 and was dropped 16 days later.
What about, then, Haskins, Lock and Jones?
The Broncos likely will have their choice.
Giants general manager Dave Gettleman may be a gentleman, but not a scholar. He seems to be wavering on the sixth spot in the first round, preferring to wait until No. 17 or 37 to pick a QB. The Jaguars signed Nick Foles. The remaining teams ahead of the Broncos are converging on edge rushers, linebackers and defensive linemen.
Unless Washington, Cincinnati or Miami leaps over the Broncos, Elway could pick the next best available quarterback in the draft and in his opinion.
He indicated by public comments that there would be no emphasis on Murray if he slipped to 10. After the Paxton and Case Keenum experiments blew up in the face of the Broncos’ Boss, he doesn’t want quarterbacks too short or too tall. He’d prefer someone who is approximately 6-3 and 225 pounds and has a strong arm — a description of his own Hall of Fame self.
The Broncos aren’t enthralled with Haskins. Elway has been captivated by Lock since scouting one of his games and seeing him again at the Senior Bowl. And the Broncos must like Jones to travel to him.
Thorson — oh, no, another Northwestern quarterback — Stidham, who had a weak season, and Rypien, a virtual unknown quality, would be later-round alternatives.
Does the pre-draft quarterback attention mean anything? Vic Fangio, who is as frank as any head coach I’ve ever been around, acknowledged at the NFL meetings that teams bringing players to their headquarters often can be a smokescreen.
Fire or smokescreen?
The Broncos got burned by Lynch. They didn’t delve deeply enough. Thus, they are copiously checking out their choices this time.
Because they will draft a quarterback somewhere. Guaranteed.