When the Denver Broncos traded up to No. 42 overall to take former Missouri Tigers quarterback Drew Lock in the 2019 NFL draft last week, they did so with the hope that he would be the team's quarterback of the future.
"You're always trying to find an answer to the quarterback position," Broncos general manager John Elway told 9News' Mike Klis. "You can't wait till you don’t have one. We've been working on it and you're always working on it.
"We feel good about what we have in Drew and his ability over the next couple years to continue to grow and make some strides. Hopefully, he's that guy for the future."
In the three seasons since future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning retired, Denver has had a revolving door at the quarterback position.
After the team failed to re-sign Brock Osweiler following Super Bowl 50, 2015 seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian made 14 starts in 2016, with 2016 first-rounder Paxton Lynch making two starts as a rookie. Three different quarterbacks made starts the following year, with Siemian (10 starts), Lynch (two) and Osweiler (four after re-signing with the club midseason) all seeing action.
Denver signed Case Keenum to a two-year deal last offseason after the veteran led the Minnesota Vikings to the 2018 NFC Championship Game. However, he was traded to Washington this offseason along with a seventh-round pick in exchange for a sixth-rounder.
Keenum became expendable when the Broncos acquired Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco from the Baltimore Ravens earlier this offseason.
Elway made it clear following the Lock selection that there is no quarterback controversy and that "Joe's the starter." He did, however, note that the second-round pick is viewed as the future, while saying the Broncos now have a "Brett Favre-Aaron Rodgers type situation" with an established veteran and a developing player.
Lock is coming off a prolific career at Mizzou, throwing for 3,300-plus yards in each of the last three seasons. He finished his Tigers career with 99 touchdowns to 39 interceptions, featuring a 95-to-31 ratio over his final three years on campus.
Denver has yet to make the postseason in the post-Manning era and has recorded a losing record in each of the last two seasons. Flacco is under contract for three more seasons, and while he may be the short-term answer, the Broncos have high expectations for Lock.