Since Peyton Manning decided to hang it up after riding off into the sunset with another Lombardi in the trophy case, the Denver Broncos have been working to fill a few holes that Manning left.

Who would fill Manning’s position was an afterthought that turned out to be a headache when Brock Osweiler signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Houston Texans and left the Broncos with Trevor Siemian as the only quarterback on the roster.

After trading the Philadelphia Eagles a conditional seventh round pick in 2017, the Broncos also traded up in the draft to select Paxton Lynch with their first pick.

The Broncos are destined to find a starter between the three of them, but the question that remains is: Who will emerge as the leader?

Former Broncos safety Nick Ferguson joined the Afternoon Drive on Thursday to discuss the issue.

“When I was in Denver, I saw Cutler come in being drafted high and we saw the transition from Plummer to Cutler,” Ferguson said. “All of a sudden they made this young kid the leader of our team and I was like, ‘wait a minute, who’s to say the quarterback should be the leader and be the face of our franchise?'”

AFTERNOON DRIVE LIVE STREAMFormer Broncos offensive lineman and current co-host of the Afternoon Drive Tyler Polumbus also weighed in the the issue.

“I think it’s very, very hard to not have your quarterback be the absolute unequivocal leader of your team,” Polumbus said. “You can get away with it when there is a Ray Lewis or just a larger than life personality on defense that is a) a Hall of Fame type player and b) wants to take the reigns of a team.”

Polumbus went through a similar situation during his first stint with the Broncos when he played along side nine-time Pro Bowl safety Brian Dawkins.

“I kinda ran across that with Brian Dawkins,” Polumbus said. “Brian was the type of guy that becomes the face of the team.”

Despite losing a few pieces, the Broncos still possess one of the best defenses in the NFL. There are more than enough players on the defense that have the ability to emerge as a leader and that should come as a sigh of relief to whoever takes the field at quarterback.

To hear the rest of Nick Ferguson’s conversation on the Afternoon Drive, listen to the podcast below.

Catch the Afternoon Drive every weekday from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 or FM 104.7, or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup.