A byproduct of last Sunday's game against the Redskins was the constant wondering what the Broncos will do with the pick received from Washington in the "other trade," between the two teams. Washington is clearly not a bad team; in fact, they'll probably make the playoffs, and with the luck they've had this year, I could see them getting into the second or third round. Which, of course, means I was right (as usual) when I said after the trade was made that we'd probably get a pick around the 25th overall.
(Do you guys get tired of me being right all the time? I mean, I clearly enjoy it, but I would imagine it gets old for some.)
Being the forward thinker that I am, I figured it was about time to start looking at who we would draft in that position. Actually, I can't take credit for it; a terrific thread on the Broncos Hardcore Message Board took care of it for me. So what's the correct answer?
Our running game is unmatched in the league, as we come up with a brand new 1100-yard runner almost every season it seems like. Our defensive line (including the much-maligned "Cleveland Four") has become stronger with the addition of a healthy Trevor Pryce. Our cornerback situation was upgraded last year with the addition of Champ Bailey, and of course, the pickup in the draft of Darrent Williams, Domonique Foxworth and Karl Paymah this year has given the secondary another step forward.
Our linebackers are the best in the league. Period. The safety situation needs a look, as John Lynch is not a long-term answer, but I think that's a need that can be addressed later on the first day of the draft. Our offensive line is still tearing it up, too. So what needs to happen?
Well, we can start with the position that threw for 92 yards the other day.
Yessir, I think the quarterback position is our most immediate need. As more and more teams figure out that Jake Plummer isn't a capable team leader, they'll start teeing off on him, taking away his running game and making him beat them with his arm. He might get lucky here and there, but for the most part he won't be able to do it.
So who's the lucky guy? Matt Leinart? Not unless we trade our whole draft to get the first pick. Vince Young? An intriguing possibility, but probably not the right answer. Marcus Vick? No. We need a guy that can come right in and produce within a year or so.
Brady's my guy.
Not Tom Brady, the Michigan quarterback we didn't draft. Brady Quinn, the Notre Dame signal caller that we should draft.
He's not good, you say. He was terrible last year and the year before. I'm not going to say you're wrong.
But look what he's done since Charlie Weis took over the Irish. He's a Heisman contender.
Do you know where your quarterback is? He's playing football beneath Touchdown Jesus and takes on Leinart and USC this weekend. It's a Heisman Hopeful Hoedown.
No, Quinn probably won't win this game; the fact is, USC has two straight national titles, is gunning for a third, and has an obnoxious amount of talent on its roster. That's one good team, and a large part of Matt Leinart's success is the success of the Trojans. Quinn has a team full of players who were able to get into Notre Dame, a suspect receiver corps, and 50 years of running an option attack.
But this kid is good. 500 yards against one team. Five touchdowns against another.
He's smart (Notre Dame pedigree, like such greats as Joe Theismann and Joe Montana), quick, has a live arm and can make the tough, quick passes into coverage. He also has the intangible to end all intangibles: his ability to play in a complicated pro-style offense.
Denver quarterbacks are faced with expectations. As a fan base, we were spoiled by the greatest of all time, John Elway, and (surprise, surprise) we've been let down by Brian Griese and Jake Plummer.
Brady Quinn goes to Notre Dame, the most storied program in all of college football; home of the Gipper, Knute, the Golden Dome, the Four Horsemen. That's real pressure.
The time has come for people to start looking at Quinn as a viable option, and I think he's good enough to warrant a first round pick from the Broncos. Number 10 in blue and orange sounds pretty good to me.
And Denver will be home to the new Brady Bunch.
Sam DeWitt is a sports writer living in Denver. He can be reached by email at BUMoose@gmail.com.
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