It’s not exactly news: the Denver Broncos need a quarterback.

With a 2018 draft class chock full of high-level prospects, but no sure things, opinions vary wildly regarding what might be the Broncos’ best course of action in order to improve at the most critical position in sports.

The Broncos will likely have options in free agency, which will begin on March 14, more than a month prior to the NFL Draft, which begins on April 26. NFL teams maintain ‘big boards’ all season long, and those can and do change dramatically, but taking a look at where teams stand at any given point can still be informative.

A quick survey of draft experts seem to confirm what we already know — the Broncos will be pursuing a franchise quarterback — but not all of them are convinced that the Broncos intend to land one through the draft.

Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (29) against the Clemson Tigers in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

“No quarterback? I fully expect John Elway will address the position in free agency. That could change in the next four months, but as of now all the rumors I’m hearing are that Elway doesn’t want to draft another quarterback in Round 1 after missing on Paxton Lynch.

Minkah Fitzpatrick is like Tyrann Mathieu if the Arizona Cardinals safety were 6’0″, 203 pounds and ran a high-4.3 in the 40-yard dash. He might be compared by some to Jalen Ramsey — and he does have some experience playing cornerback — but his best spot in the NFL is likely at safety.

One of the cool things about Fitzpatrick is his versatility: He can play slot cornerback, free safety, strong safety and, for some press schemes, he can line up as an outside cornerback. The Denver Broncos can find a way to work him into a secondary that’s getting older and needs an infusion of talent.”

Daniel Jeremiah, OG Quenton Nelson

“I think the Broncos will address their quarterback need in free agency, which would free them up to take the best available player in this spot. Nelson is the best interior O-line prospect to enter the draft in a long time.

Of course, there are plenty of evaluators who believe that John Elway and the Broncos won’t be able to pass up the opportunity to pluck one of the NCAA’s best with the No. 5 selection.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

Nov 4, 2017; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) celebrates a touchdown during the first half against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

“I’m jumping aboard the “the Broncos are coaching Mayfield at the Senior Bowl so they’ll draft him” train for the time being. Mayfield’s passion and, more importantly, ability as a passer will be very enticing to John Elway and Co.”

Dan Kadar, SB Nation: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

“Although the Broncos have often gone after bigger quarterbacks like Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler, or even Trevor Siemian, who is 6’3″, they could fall for Mayfield. They specifically requested to coach Mayfield at next week’s Senior Bowl, so we’ll learn more about this fit soon.”

The Heisman-winning Mayfield is rapidly becoming a popular choice, especially after the Broncos requested that he be added to their Senior Bowl squad, so they can coach him directly prior to and in the game itself. There’s no better way to get a closer look at one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft — and a player that will almost certainly be available when the Broncos are on the clock.

However, with quarterback prospects like UCLA’s Josh Rosen, USC’s Sam Darnold, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson (2016’s Heisman winner) and Oklahoma’s Mayfield all available to quarterback-needy teams — beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it’s possible that a player that the Broncos didn’t expect to be there… just might.

Walter Cherepinsky, QB Sam Darnold, USC

Oct 28, 2017; Tempe, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (14) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

“Sam Darnold was considered to be the favorite to be taken first overall for a while, and that could still be the case. However, he struggled this past season, and there was speculation among teams that he would return to school. Darnold surprised them by declaring.

Darnold is still considered a top-10 talent, so he makes a lot of sense for the Broncos, who are desperate for a franchise quarterback. They would probably even have to trade up for Darnold, as some of the other quarterback-hungry teams — Jets, Cardinals, Redskins (if Kirk Cousins leaves) — will have major interest in him.”

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN (Paywall): QB Sam Darnold, USC

“Denver sits in a pivotal spot in the draft. Will it take the third quarterback? Could it move down? There will be a ripple effect in the top 10. Either way, it looks like the Broncos are ready to move on from 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch. Darnold had an up-and-down season and struggled with turnovers — his 22 were tied for most in the FBS. Can he figure out the ball security? If he can get rid of the bad habits, he could be a special player. Darnold is an accurate, natural passer with high upside who still needs to tweak his mechanics. I believe in his talent long term, and I think John Elway would love to have him in Denver.

The entire NFL landscape will change between now and late April, and the players that the Broncos add in free agency will undoubtedly change their draft strategy, but given the four experts’ explanation here — even though they came to three different conclusions — not everything will change.

The Denver Broncos need a new starting quarterback — and by the end of April, they’ll have one.