A total of 249 players were selected ahead of Trevor Siemian in the 2015 NFL draft, which wasn't a surprise because few had any clue who Siemian was. And the majority of those who did know the Northwestern product likely didn't expect him to be drafted.
Despite all that, it appears there's a real chance the second-year seventh-round pick will begin the 2016 season as the starting quarterback for a reigning Super Bowl winner.
That's because the Denver Broncos continue to suggest Siemian has a chance to win the starting job this summer.
"Trevor and Mark [Sanchez] have looked each other in the eyes the whole offseason," Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak said last month of the neck-and-neck competition between those two, according to Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post. "When I sit there and watch them practice, I think they're right there banging on each other."
And just this week on the team's official website, reporter Andrew Mason wrote that "those whose opinions truly matter—the coaches—aren't dismissing Siemian, so that's the key thing," before adding that Siemian "has a legitimate shot now whether observers want to believe that or not."
I think this calls for a Q&A.
Who exactly is Trevor Siemian?
Siemian is a 6'3", 220-pound right-handed quarterback with a relatively strong, accurate arm. He was the 250th pick of the 2015 draft. He'll turn 25 on Dec. 26, which tragically indicates many aunts and uncles gave a young Trevor dual Christmas and birthday gifts.
What has this Siemian dude done?
Enough to earn one more Super Bowl ring than Fran Tarkenton, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly combined despite the fact he's yet to throw his first NFL regular-season pass.
He was 23-of-40 for 283 yards with two touchdown passes, one interception and a passer rating of 85.7 in three 2015 preseason appearances. After that, he spent the majority of the next five months holding a clipboard at a championship level.
He also did a lot of stretching.
During the regular season, Siemian took one snap, a kneel-down on the final play of the first half of a Week 15 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In Siemian's defense, his execution was perfect.
Yes, he lost yardage on the play, but that was by design. The key was that he didn't fumble or get hurt.
How do you pronounce his name?
No, his surname!
Oh, sim-EE-in. Hear it in this video from last year in which two analysts wonder if Siemian was a better option than backup-turned-multimillionaire Brock Osweiler.
Why has it come to this for the Broncos?
Gambling on his world-class defense, general manager John Elway wasn't willing to pay Osweiler the kind of money the Houston Texans offered. With Osweiler in Texas and Peyton Manning still riding into the sunset, Denver signed Sanchez for peanuts, flirted with Colin Kaepernick, drafted Paxton Lynch in the first round and settled for a Sanchez-Siemian-Lynch quarterback depth chart.
Sanchez is the only quarterback on the roster who has thrown an NFL pass, but he failed with the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles and isn't viewed as a long-term answer. Meanwhile, Kubiak made it clear Lynch isn't yet ready to be the starter due to his inconsistencies, according to Wolfe. And thus the only quarterback left over from last year's roster is in a prime spot.
How did Siemian get here?
|Siemian's 2015 stats|
|Pro Football Reference|
On paper, that's not an easy question to answer. Siemian doesn't have a top-end deep ball, and his decision-making has come into question. His college career came to an abrupt conclusion when he tore his left ACL in November of his senior season, and at that point, he had thrown 11 interceptions to only seven touchdowns. Over the course of his four years in the Big Ten, he completed fewer than 60 percent of his passes and nearly had as many picks (24) as touchdown passes (27).
Still, the Broncos saw something in Siemian, who has received praise for his footwork.
"We looked at him on tape, and as far as the quarterback position, he plays well, his feet, his technique and everything that he can do is pretty darn good," Elway said last spring, per ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold. "... So we really felt that he has some upside because of where he was and where he starts and his ability to understand the game of football."
He started only 14 games for the Wildcats and has good size along with some mobility, so it's possible he's a diamond in the rough. Still, he's attempting to become a hell of an anomaly.
How rare is it for a seventh-round pick to start at quarterback in Week 1 of his sophomore season?
Rarer than you might have figured. In fact, this situation is pretty much unprecedented.
Not since Jeff Garcia started for the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 3, 2000, has a seventh-round or undrafted quarterback started in Week 1 of his first or second NFL season. But Garcia was 30 years old, and the 49ers were coming off a 4-12 season.
Actually, Siemian is looking to become the first quarterback drafted beyond the sixth round to start Week 1 in his first or second year out of college since eighth-round pick David Woodley did so for the Miami Dolphins in 1980. And even Woodley was drafted earlier than Siemian (214th), and the Dolphins were only coming off a 10-6 season in which they were one-and-done in the playoffs.
So if what the Broncos are saying is true, Trevor Siemian has a chance to make history this summer.
Brad Gagnon has covered the NFL for Bleacher Report since 2012.