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Denver Broncos Draft Peyton Manning's Successor: Fan's Take

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Color me shocked and a little puzzled when the Denver Broncos selected quarterback Brock Osweiler in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Yes, I know that many (and when I say many I mean just about everyone except me) thought the Broncos needed to upgrade their backup quarterback corps but it doesn't seem to fit in with the idea that the Broncos are in a "win now" mode. It also doesn't jive with John Elway's assertion that the Broncos were going to draft "impact players" in this draft.

However, I know that the Broncos have been high on Osweiler even before Peyton Manning came to town. They were going to make this pick if Tim Tebow was still the quarterback, and at that point it would have made a lot of sense. John Elway must have seen a lot of things he liked in the young man from Arizona State University to take him in the second round with the No 57 overall pick.

Osweiler, a giant at 6'7", played just three seasons at ASU and only had 16 starts. He probably should have returned for his senior season, but when the Sun Devils decided to change offensive systems he made the decision to bolt. Clearly him coming out early didn't hurt his draft stock. His 2011 season was pretty productive. He made 63.2% of his passes for 4.036 yards and 26 touchdowns. He has a gigantic arm worthy of his size. Mike Mayock of the NFL Network even commented tonight that he might have the best arm in the draft this year.

I always worry about quarterbacks with a small number of college starts. That was my biggest complaint about Mark Sanchez coming out after 16 starts, and I wonder how Ryan Tannehill will do in Miami after only 19 starts in college. The one thing in Osweiler's favor is that he won't be asked to start for quite a while. I can't imagine the Broncos making him anything but the third-string quarterback this season. He needs time to develop the immense amount of raw talent that he possesses.

I don't expect Manning to be any sort of a mentor to Osweiler, but the young man should take advantage of Manning's example of attention to detail and extensive preparation. Having Elway on your side as a quarterback is also very beneficial. It's quite possible that Elway will take a very active role in developing Osweiler in the way that he promised Tim Tebow he would had he still been with the team.

So obviously I was about as wrong as a writer can be with the Broncos selecting a quarterback, but I'm fine with my (almost) incredible misreading of the Broncos intentions. I've seen nothing but intelligent and positive moves by John Elway and John Fox since they were hired. If they feel they need Osweiler now to develop behind Peyton, then I'm all for it. If Osweiler turns out to be a future great Broncos quarterback, then this is a genius move.

Julie has been a football fan her entire life. She lives in Denver and has followed the Denver Broncos since she moved here in 2001. She's not afraid to admit that she stood outside Broncos headquarters the night Manning was interviewed. She's also not afraid to link to the article she wrote yesterday about how the Broncos were definitely not going to take a quarterback in this 2012 Draft.

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