In spite of Brock Osweiler’s impressive performance against the Colts, it is still very clear that there will be a new signal caller in Denver next season. This means that room will have to be made for him. With the new quarterback incoming, which of the QBs currently on the roster will make it to next season?
Who Will Be Denver’s Backup QB Next Year?
Pros: He had a very promising start last year, throwing 18 touchdowns to 10 interceptions.
This year, he played two of the best games in his career during the first two weeks of the season, throwing six touchdowns and one interception combined in those two games. In his second game against the Raiders in Week 12 he almost led a sensational comeback in the fourth quarter, scoring two unanswered touchdowns but ultimately running out of time. He didn’t turn the ball over a single time against the Jets in Week 14, leading to a shutout victory.
Cons: Siemian has been injured a lot in just two years. In two years, he has missed either part or all of seven games due to injury. While he had a very good TD-to-INT ratio in his first full starting season, he has regressed since then in a big way, throwing 12 TDs to 14 INTs in twelve games. On top of that, he seems to be lacking the intangibles associated with great quarterbacks at the position. Siemian seems to come to work with an “aww shucks” attitude and his level of confidence is questionable. An eye-test shows that he just doesn’t have it to be a starter in the NFL. There are too many issues with reading the field and throwing interceptions. He seems to decide where he is going to throw the ball pre-snap and then throws it no matter what, especially on quick throws. His final pick of his season was a pretty terrible note to end on against the Colts, throwing an interception into triple coverage.
Stay or Go?: Trevor Siemian just seems played out. The Broncos know what they have with him: a solid backup quarterback who can put it together for a game or two but ultimately will implode with a sustained workload. With every other quarterback having a seemingly higher upside in that they haven’t had the reps to show what they can do for this team, Siemian is not a good fit for this organization going forward. He seems destined to be a solid career backup for another team but not for the Denver Broncos.
Pros: He was a first-round pick who played well for Memphis, so there is some promise there. He has not played much in the NFL, so it is still possible that he could be great with a lot of snaps under his belt.
Cons: The game film that does exist is pretty weak, full of interceptions and panic in the pocket. He lost the QB competition to Trevor Siemian twice, and everyone knows how much Siemian has struggled. Just like Siemian, Lynch is injury-prone. He’s been hurt for most of the year and when he did start, he got injured again after a few quarters against the Raiders. A simple eye-test shows that he is not really there yet. He gives up on reads too quickly and he melts under pressure.
Stay or Go?: After two seasons, Lynch has too many negatives with no proven positive upside. It seems that he has been played out as well. He seems to be a bust at this point and the Broncos will probably cut him in the offseason.
Pros: Similar to Paxton, there is not a lot of game film of Chad Kelly in the NFL (actually, there’s none). However, there are tons of great college highlights of the quarterback during his time at Ole Miss.
Cons: He’s been on IR for most of the year and has only practiced a couple of times since the spring. He is a total unknown at this point with zero NFL experience.
Stay or Go?: With a total unknown like Chad Kelly, his future depends entirely on how the Broncos offseason goes. If the Broncos go with an older QB like Eli Manning, the Broncos will probably keep Chad Kelly around in some capacity. However, if the Broncos go with a younger QB like Kirk Cousins, Chad Kelly could be shipped away or cut loose before the start of next season. Either way, I think he will at least see some time in the preseason so the Broncos have some idea of what they have.
Pros: His performance during the 2015 season was everything that the Broncos could have hoped for during Peyton Manning’s absence. He went 4-2 in games that he started and finished and 5-2 overall. The record also includes a sensational 14 point comeback victory against the 10-0 New England Patriots. Osweiler has some fire and excitement in him that comes through when he speaks and a more leader-ready personality than the other quarterbacks on the roster. Also, he’s fresh off a nearly flawless performance against the Indianapolis Colts in which he threw for two touchdowns with no picks and rushed for one more, boasting a nearly perfect passer rating. An eye-test shows that he still has some potential and is not entirely played out. He could be the next Case Keenum, but he could also be the next Brian Hoyer.
Cons: In his year as a Texan, he threw 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, leading to him getting benched and eventually traded to the Browns. Also, even with that performance against the Colts, he has thrown 5 touchdowns to 4 interceptions this year, which is not a good ratio. During his last tenure as a free agent, Osweiler went where the money was and left his team high and dry. If he is kept on the roster again, who is to say that he won’t do the same thing?
Stay or Go?: He is probably not the Broncos franchise quarterback of the future, but he could be one of the better backups in the league. He is the best fit currently on the roster and has earned himself a place going forward. Expect Osweiler to be back next year as the backup to whoever John Elway signs in the offseason.