The Denver Broncos colossal signing of future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning has now opened the door for Dove Valley to CONFIDENTLY draft his potential replacement.
Whether the Orange and Blue faithful want to believe it or not, Tim Tebow was NOT who John Elway and John Fox saw as their future at the position. In fact Tebow’s 2011 success story was probably as most surprising to them as anyone. His intangibles enabled him to overcome the lack of traditional throwing mechanics and lead the Broncos to an AFC West Divisional title and first round playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Something tells me that the front office felt that they could have gone even farther without Tebow at the helm. There’s a sense of “quiet cockiness” coming off of Broncos Parkway that’s been missing for some time. The investment made in Manning points towards an organization that sees itself only a player or two away from competing for an AFC title, not a club continuing along a path of rebuilding after two years of chaos. John Elway – “There is no Plan B.”
But that’s exactly what Elway and Fox should do, stay the course of collecting young talent for the future. The Football Educator felt all along that Andrew Luck would benefit from a year or two behind the iconic Manning. But circumstances on both sides didn’t allow for Manning to remain an Indianapolis Colt. Money and opportunity were at the forefront of the decision for both Jim Irsay and has veteran signal caller.
With Manning now under contract in Denver, Elway can go forward with his original plans for rebuilding the Broncos in his own image and not with leftovers from the Josh McDaniels era. Alterations to the CBA negotiated last summer have lessened the economic burden of first round draft choices and all but eliminated them in the backend of round one. The Broncos could benefit from selecting a second tier QB behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, and have him understudy behind Manning over the next couple seasons (the exact scenario called for in Indy).
Regardless if Manning wants to train his replacement or not, he’s in position to pass on valuable knowledge to a rookie QB in the form of game preparation, practice habits and leadership responsibilities. These are attributes worth every bit of the $96 million due to Manning over the next five seasons. The maturity gained both on and off the field could very well catapult what pundits might consider a “lesser” prospect over the handful that might be drafted above.
“Who are those candidates?” is what’s been flooding our email, Facebook and Twitter accounts. These 3 could be highly touted options prior to the 4th round.
- Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M) – Being pushed up the board do to needs & factors unknown, but take a look at Dan Shonka’s Mock Draft (a REAL former NFL scout) with Ourlads.
- Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State) – The normal “this guy is too old” stuff. But I like the built in MATURITY factor and level of production.
- Kirk Cousins (Michigan State) – I threw Cousins in because many have him as the 5th rated QB. This is the type player that would benefit greatly from the developmental time.
These 3 could be options later that sneak by the rest of the League.
- Nick Foles (Arizona) – Studied extensively over the past few weeks. Nice arm strength & mechanics, don’t like his mobility & consistent decision making.
- Ryan Lindley (San Diego State) – Size and arm strength are definitely there. Really suffered from the loss of two key receivers in 2011. Good developmental upside.
- Kellen Moore (Boise State) – Say what you want, this guy’s a winner. He’s fought the size and athletic questions all his career (high school included). Manning-like football intelligence. More a GUT selection than anything.
I’d take Brandon Weeden. Tannehill will probably go where many have pushed him. The hysteria around NOT having a QB has led to many mistakes in the past and probably will in the future. I like Weeden’s consistent production, NFL size and maturity level. I’m not concerned with the AGE factor at all. Chances of finding a GREAT one diminish to near nothing after pick #50 anyway. If Manning makes the Broncos as good as Elway & Company think, the Broncos won’t have a shot down the road at a TOP 10 prospect. Why not start “Plan B” now?