JACK DEMPSEY/Associated Press
Per general manager John Elway, the Broncos are preparing Brock Osweiler as their heir apparent at quarterback behind Peyton Manning. Before the draft, Elway talked about the team’s outlook with Osweiler:
“Our plan is that [QB] Brock [Osweiler] is going to be that next guy. That’s why we drafted him two years ago, and we’re thrilled with his progress up to this point. Fortunately, [QB] Peyton [Manning] has been Peyton for the past two years, so that’s been a pleasant surprise but also so has Brock."
Elway continued, "Brock’s really done a heck of a job and been patient and sat back and learned a lot, so we will deal with that problem at some point in time [and] hopefully it’s not a problem.”
Osweiler is clearly the quarterback of the future in the eyes of the franchise.
Behind him, the team has a couple of interesting developmental quarterbacks. These two players will compete for the third-string job behind Manning and Osweiler.
Zac Dysert was a seventh-round pick for the Broncos in the 2013 NFL draft. Coming out of college (Miami, Ohio), he was known as a strong-armed quarterback with decent athleticism. However, he was inconsistent on film, at the 2013 Senior Bowl and during his limited exposure with the Broncos last year.
He can make pinpoint throws on short and intermediate routes. He can even hit his targets in stride on passes that travel more than 20 yards.
His problem is consistency. Dysert will make a fantastic throw on one play and throw one in the dirt on the next play. He needs to be able to duplicate his success on certain throws if he wants to play up to his potential as a pro.
He made the 53-man roster last year with a decent showing in the final preseason game against the Cardinals. He threw one touchdown pass but was once again inconsistent—finishing the game below 50 percent accuracy.
He’s a frustrating prospect to watch because he has some good tools to work with. His mechanics aren’t terrible, but he can’t seem to put together a string of good throws and good decisions.
Dysert is known as a favorite of Elway, but that’s not enough to keep him around in 2014.
To push him for the third-string spot, the Broncos added Bryn Renner as an undrafted free agent this year.
He is not as athletic as Dysert, and his arm is not as strong either. Where he stands out more than Dysert is with his accuracy, consistency and aggression.
His arm is strong enough to make all the throws required in the NFL. Renner is an aggressive quarterback who loves to challenge a defense deep. He’s not afraid to take chances with the football, but that’s a double-edged sword.
He will make some mistakes due to his aggression, but this makes him no less aggressive. He’s constantly looking for the best way to attack a defense. He will check down if necessary, but only after he’s exhausted deeper reads.
While not a scrambler, Renner is athletic enough to climb the ladder in order to avoid pressure. Against better competition, he was more accurate than Dysert. Renner was also more accurate under duress as a collegian.
Whereas Dysert abandons his reads quickly to scramble, Renner will stand tall in the pocket to distribute the ball.
Renner has been a standout player every day during rookie minicamp. Compared to Dysert at this time last year, Renner is light years ahead. Dysert struggled during his first opportunity to practice with the Broncos and didn't make huge leaps and bounds during training camp.
During a strong wind on Friday's practice, Renner's passes were cutting through the air. He spins a tight football, and that makes it easier for the receivers to secure the ball.
He has also showed good pass placement on short and intermediate routes. He puts the ball in the best spot where his receivers can maximize their yards after the catch.
This is going to be an interesting battle to watch during training camp. Dysert has better natural tools and a year of experience in the Adam Gase offense. Renner has a skill set like a traditional pocket passer, and he’s a favorite of Manning.
If the race is too close to call, the team could keep Dysert on the 53-man roster and try to sneak Renner to the practice squad.
All quotes and injury/practice observations obtained firsthand. Record/statistical information provided via email from the Denver Broncos. Contract information provided by Spotrac.com. Transaction history provided by ProSportsTransactions.com.
Cecil Lammey can be followed on Twitter @CecilLammey.