In trading up for and drafting Paxton Lynch at No. 26 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, it’s no stretch of the imagination that the Denver Broncos were shooting for the quarterback of the future.
At the time, general manager John Elway said the team was “really excited” for Lynch to come in and compete for a job, and he was “going to be here and have a great career with the Denver Broncos for a long, long time.”
And the 2016 season did see Lynch in a starting role in a pair of games, but the rookie first-rounder did not earn the starting role. That went to second-year former backup, and a seventh-round pick in 2015, Trevor Siemian.
So nearly a year removed from taking Lynch in the first round, questions still remain about if Elway and company were correct, that indeed the young gunslinger is the future of the franchise.
“Hopefully, we get proven right,” Elway said Tuesday in an interview with Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan’s “The Drive.”
“Sometimes … it takes a while for the answers to play out,” Elway said. “So we’ll see what happens.”
Elway also said earlier in the interview that a “big part” of learning to play quarterback is real game experience because “you’re going to gain the most and learn the most if you’re right in the middle of the fire.”
“You can learn so much on the practice field and so much in the room on the board, but the bottom line is the true experience is gets you better much faster,” Elway said.
In that area, Siemian has the edge on Lynch, having started 14 games for the Broncos last season. Lynch only saw action in three games, coming in off the bench in Week 4 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and two starts against the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars in Weeks 5 and 13.
Head coach Vance Joseph pointed to Siemian’s experience in his introductory press conference in mid January, but the first-time head coach said he and Lynch would be in an open competition for the starting role next season.
“That’s going to make both guys better,” Joseph said at the time. “Whoever is the best for our team, (we’ll) make sure that’s who is going to play.”
And for now, Elway said in January, the team’s working on getting better and building up the offense around both Lynch and Siemian.
“It’s an exciting part of the year because we’ve got a chance now to get better,” Elway said on Tuesday. “Free agency’s around the corner. We start that process. Then the Combine’s in a couple of weeks. And so, we’ll start the process of trying to make the Broncos better.”
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.
- Clough: Von Miller the ‘greatest defensive player’ in Broncos history
- What does the future for Case Keenum with the Broncos look like now?
- ANALYSIS: Loss to Browns the final nail in Broncos, VJ’s coffins?
- New Colorado coach Mel Tucker hires coordinators
- Franklin: Von Miller one of the ‘most unselfish’ players he played with