There are many questions surrounding the future of the quarterback position for the Denver Broncos. Case Keenum will likely be the starter next fall, but after John Elway openly called him a short-term fix, it is safe to assume the organization is more than exploring its options.
One route that Elway could consider would be pursuing another veteran quarterback like Nick Foles (Philadelphia) or Teddy Bridgewater (New Orleans). Both would be backups for their respective teams in 2019 and could compete with Keenum for the starting gig in Denver. Unless the deal was too good to pass up, it seems unlikely that the Broncos will explore this path though.
Elway has already expressed an interest in finding the next quarterback of the future, and based on his comments to Peter King, the 58-year old general manager seems determined to prove he is capable of finding and developing a young QB.
“The other thing that I’ve learned is that the bottom line in this league, it’s about winning,” Elway said, according to King. “Forget about anything else. You want to do things the right way and we work on everything else. It’s very difficult to do it year in and year out unless you find a franchise quarterback.”
Elway went on to explain how both he and Gary Kubiak were on board with drafting Paxton Lynch in 2016 because they believed the athletic quarterback would thrive in Denver’s offense at the time. Then when Kubiak got sick and was no longer able to lead the team, the Broncos changed the system that they had already drafted a quarterback to fit. Between the system change and extreme public scrutiny, it became too much too overcome.
Essentially Elway feels believes that Lynch was a bust, but the former Memphis quarterback would have potentially been able to succeed under more stable conditions. So, now that the Broncos seemingly have created that stability by hiring veterans like Vic Fangio and Mike Munchak, as well as an up-and-coming Rich Scangarello to run Denver’s offense, will the Broncos be able to find the next great, young quarterback?
The 2019 draft class does not exactly jump off the board with all-world talent, but there are a few interesting prospects that the Broncos could consider. The major three are Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State), Kyler Murray (Ohio State) and Drew Lock (Missouri). But, one of the biggest sleepers could be Boise State’s Brett Rypien.
A four-year starter for the Broncos and the 2018 Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, Rypien is as experienced as any of the quarterbacks coming out this year and should be an appealing late round target for Denver. Rypien led Boise State to an average of 10 wins per season, threw for 13,578 yards and had a 3-to-1 touchdown-interception ratio during his college career.
If Denver is looking for a low risk option with significant upside potential, drafting Rypien would be the perfect scenario. Rypien primarily ran the spread with Boise State, so there would likely be a significant learning period for the 22-year old, but the reality is the majority of college programs across the country run some form of the spread now.
With that in mind, passing up on Rypien would be a mistake for the Broncos, especially considering Denver could work on improving the offensive line in the early rounds and still come away with a talented quarterback prospect in the process.
The Broncos reportedly talked to Rypien after the first practice for the 2019 East-West Shrine Game on Monday. As it currently stands, Rypien is projected to go in the fifth round or later. However, if he performs well in Saturday’s game, his draft stock could rise.
Broncos fans should certainly keep Rypien’s name in mind come April. Denver is in the market for a new quarterback and the nephew of former NFL starter Mark Rypien could be the next late rounder to succeed in the league.