Why the Denver Broncos Should Pass on Drafting Mark Sanchez
Everyone knows what transpired in the Rocky Mountain football community over the past month. There is not a single NFL fan who has not been bombarded with interviews and analysis of the situation that came to be known as "McJay-gate."
Part of moving on will be a successful draft, one that takes advantage of the two first-round picks that that Broncos now possess.
Looking back, most NFL insiders and fans agree that the Broncos were able to get an extremely generous package for their disgruntled quarterback. Two first-round draft picks and a legitimate starting quarterback with a career 15-2 record at home is quite a haul.
Still, despite this, there have been many rumors, talk from the "professional" analysts that has hinted that the Broncos may be wise to draft Mark Sanchez with one of their first-round picks, or worse, trade up to choose him.
I would strongly advise the Broncos' player personnel staff to think twice before making a selection like this.
Without taking anything away from Sanchez as a player, I do not think he would be worth a pick or a trade by the Broncos.
The most blatant reason is that both picks in the first round could be used on much-needed defensive players. Sayre Bedinger's suggestion of Tyson Jackson and Brian Cushing was one that stood out to me as being particularly smart.
Aside from defense, however, there have also been rumors that the Broncos may be interested in one of this year's top-flight running backs, guys like Chris "Beanie" Wells and Knowshon Moreno.
The Broncos set the precedent in 2008 that a team can never have enough running backs, and there are currently many competent running backs on the roster—but no superstar. Either Wells or Moreno could prove to be the star back that could take some pressure off of the passing game.
Despite all of these various rumors and ideas, the notion that the Broncos would be looking for another quarterback in Sanchez does not make sense from a football or from a business perspective.
If the Broncos were intending to trade up for Sanchez, they would not have asked for Kyle Orton in their compensation. It would have been far more beneficial as far as trade talks are concerned to ask for a second-round pick instead of Orton and a third rounder.
I believe that Josh McDaniels wanted Orton in Denver so he could compete with Chris Simms for the starting job when the season opens.
Kyle Orton has always been a good quarterback. It is unfair to compare him to Cutler, although these comparisons will undoubtedly be swirling almost immediately after Orton appears for the first time on a football field.
Orton could make the deep passes in Chicago, so there's no reason he wouldn't be able to do the same in the thin air of Denver.
Most importantly though, I believe that Orton has that drive, the motivation to study the playbook for hours and hours in order to give the team a better chance of winning.
I like Orton's style, and I feel that he has leadership qualities that Cutler lacked.
The bottom line is this: Orton should get a chance to compete with Simms, another veteran who was highly competitive before suffering a ruptured spleen two years ago, for the starting job.
In the worst case scenario, neither quarterback will fit the bill. The Broncos may see a season of quarterback switching and inconsistency.
And then, in the 2010 draft, they will take a quarterback.
Next year's class includes the likes of Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, and possibly Sam Bradford.
These three men will be the "backup" plan for the Broncos. If both Orton and Simms fail, the Broncos will undoubtedly be able to land one of the elite college signal-callers following the season. Even if it takes both of the first-round picks the Broncos are slated to have in 2010.
For Josh McDaniels, it is a positive situation all around. He will get the chance to work his developmental "magic" on Orton in 2009, and have the insurance of quality quarterbacks to choose from if he should fail.
For the fans, it should also be positive. The defense will be improved for 2009. The offensive core is still the best in the NFL, and Josh McDaniels will most likely be able to turn Orton into a very legitimate starting quarterback.
There is no need for Sanchez. Let a team who needs a quarterback take him. For the Broncos, he would be an unnecessary waste of a draft pick.
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