Trevor Siemian went from an afterthought on the playground to the coolest kid in school.

And it only took about a month.

If the majority of Denver media members were the captain in the schoolyard, Siemian suddenly, and out of nowhere, would be their No. 1 pick.

The second-year quarterback from Northwestern has gone from barely-on-the-radar dark horse to trendy pick (too trendy) to start for the Broncos Sept. 8 against the Panthers.


There’s a better chance of Peyton Manning coming out of retirement and starting for Denver in Week 1 than there is of Siemian lining up under center.

He’ll make the roster and go along for another ride, but hopefully Siemian got comfortable holding a clipboard last year, because it’s all he will be asked to do on game day in 2016.

This isn’t anything personal; Siemian has handled a potentially awkward offseason well.

But if we’re being honest, the Broncos starting Siemian would make absolutely zero sense – and, therefore, isn’t happening.

You can make a compelling case for Gary Kubiak and John Elway to pick Mark Sanchez.

Better known for the “butt fumble,” it seems some forget Sanchez led the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship Games in 2009 and 2010, including throwing for three touchdowns in Foxborough in a stunning playoff road win against Tom Brady and the Patriots.

His career numbers won’t wow you (86 touchdowns, 84 interceptions), but Sanchez’s completion percentage has been higher than 64 each of the last two years and he is morphing into a veteran game manager, which could be exactly what the Broncos are looking for.

If this defense was good enough to carry the AARP card carrying Peyton Manning to a Super Bowl title last year, it could certainly do the same with Sanchez at the helm, completing two thirds of his passes and protecting the football.

You can also make a real case for why Kubes and Elway should pick Paxton Lynch.

The Broncos took Lynch in the first round for a reason – he’s clearly the quarterback of the future. The team, by all accounts, was elated to be able to trade up and snag Lynch with pick No. 26 in April’s draft. The former Memphis star has a great build, a rocket arm, sneaky fast legs and would be the no-questions-asked starter on a handful of NFL teams.

So why not hand the keys to the championship defense bus to Lynch right away?

If the kid has the tools to be a successful QB in the league down the road, then throwing him into the fire this season will only help him get better, faster – and become the franchise quarterback the Broncos envisioned when they selected him.

If the rook is as good as Elway thinks he is, then Lynch can help Denver repeat as Super Bowl champs in 2016.

The Sanchez / Lynch debate is a compelling one. There are plenty of pros and cons as to why the Broncos should start either guy.

Siemian doesn’t belong in that conversation.

First, let’s check Siemain’s college stats. Surely, those will impress.

In his senior year at Northwestern (2014), in which Siemian played 11 games, he completed just 58.2 percent of his passes while throwing for seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions. No misprints there. Siemian threw for as many touchdowns his final year in college as Peyton Manning did in the 2013 opener against the Baltimore Ravens.

Okay, but maybe he did something with his feet?

In 2014, according to Sports-Reference, Siemian rushed the ball 68 times for negative 123 yards; that’s good for an average of -1.8 yards per carry.

Second, the argument Siemian ‘knows Kubiak’s offense’ and, because of that, should start, is silly. He has one year here under his belt as the third-string QB, and for the most part watched Manning run something that most definitely was not Kubiak’s offense. His one regular season snap (in which he took a knee) doesn’t exactly help that line of thinking.

Finally, picking Siemian to start would be an admission the Broncos are unsure what they can be in 2016. If they want to try to repeat with a (somewhat) proven veteran in Sanchez, no one can blame them. Sanchez would be a logical bridge guy before the Lynch era begins. And if Paxton proves he’s ready to go in camp and in the preseason, then it makes sense to begin with him as the starter right away. There’s no sense in delaying the future if it’s already arrived.

But starting a second-year QB who doesn’t have a stellar college career to lean on and was only a seventh-round pick makes no sense. Siemian will be a fine third-stringer, but elevating him above either Sanchez or Lynch doesn’t add up.

The captain on the playground can still take Siemian at some point, but his rise as the coolest kid in school will be short-lived.