The Broncos can’t draft quarterbacks

We’ve entered phase 2 of the Broncos quarterback cycle, where the Broncos have decided to trade for/sign a quarterback from another team to fix quarterback woes. Historically, The Broncos cannot draft quarterbacks, but they are weirdly good at signing or trading for others. Today, I will compare these groups.

The big thing I want to look at is playoff success. The Broncos have exactly ONE playoff win with a quarterback that they drafted in their entire existence, and thought comparing the drafted quarterbacks in the playoff success category with those that they signed would be a good idea. Bottom line remains however: The Broncos cannot draft (good) quarterbacks.

There will also be a companion video that goes with this video to give more insight on the quarterbacks. However with me not being a Fantom Podcaster, unless otherwise verified to do so, the video will be uploaded on my YouTube channel. It can be found here. With that said, let’s look at this group of drafted quarterbacks.

Drafted Quarterback #1: Tommy Maddox (1992-1993)

quarterback tommy maddox drops to pass
Focus on Sport/Contributor

The Broncos used a 1st round pick on Tommy Maddox in 1992. He would only start four games in two years before being traded to the Giants for a fourth. Maddox would never start a playoff game for Denver, therefore, no playoff wins in a Broncos uniform. Drafted qb playoff record: 0-0

Drafted Quarterback #2: Brian Griese (1998-2003)

Quarterback Brian Griese scrambles
Credit: Denver Broncos

Griese was a third round pick in 1998, and by default, has a Super Bowl ring for being on that squad. 1999 would see him with his first stars of his career, but the Broncos would finish 6-10. 2000 was a rebound year, as Griese made his first (and only) pro bowl, and led the Broncos to a wild card berth. Griese would not start the game, Gus Frerotte did. Drafted qb playoff record: 0-0

Drafted Quarterback #3: Jay Cutler (2006-2008)

Quarterback jay cutler is not thrilled with a play
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Broncos 2006 first round pick, Cutler never finished a season in Denver with a record above .500. What could have been if Josh McDaniels didn’t trade him. We’ll never know, and so far none of these drafted quarterbacks have a playoff appearance, let alone win. Drafted Quarterback playoff record: 0-0

Drafted Quarterback #4: Tim Tebow (2010-2011)

Quarterback tim tebow kneeling pregame
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Boy oh boy oh boy oh boy, ol’ Timothy Tebow. As we all know, Tim was not the most..ermh, polished passer to enter the NFL. His mechanics were downright bad, his completion percentage was bad, but he won games.

He is the only quarterback to EVER be drafted to the Broncos to win a playoff game for the Broncos. Ever. Tebow is also a victim of playoff Tom Brady, so take it how you will. Drafted Quarterback playoff record: 1-1.

Drafted Quarterback #5: Brock Osweiler (2012-2015, 2017)

Quarterback brock osweiler winds up to throw
Gabriel Christus/Denver Broncos

Osweiler was a crucial piece on the Superbowl 50 Roster. A second round pick in 2012, Osweiler spent most of his career as a backup before robbing the Texans of $72 million. Osweiler never made a playoff start, therefore, has no impact to the record. However, if you would like to look into his 2017 stint, he was nowhere close to saving the Broncos and putting an impact on said record. Drafted Quarterback playoff record: 1-1

Drafted Quarterback #6: Trevor Siemian (2015-2017)

Quarterback trevor siemian stands on the field
Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

I’m gonna be honest. I liked Trevor when he started for Denver in 2016. His stats didn’t pop off the charts, sure, but I don’t think he single-handedly lost the Broncos any games that year, but he didn’t make the postseason in his two seasons as a Broncos Starter. Drafted Quarterback playoff record: 1-1

Drafted Quarterback #7: Paxton Lynch (2016-2017)

Quarterback paxton lynch throws a pass in training camp
John Leyba, The Denver Post

Lynch only started four games in his Broncos career, and was nowhere near a playoff spot even as a backup. Short and simple here. Drafted Quarterback playoff record: 1-1

Drafted Quarterback #8: Drew Lock (2019-2021)

Quarterback Drew lock scrambling
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

After a hot start to 2019, and nearly saving the Broncos’ season, it all fell apart from there. Lock also wouldn’t sniff a postseason appearance. 2020 would see him regress, and 2021 would also see a plateau. Drafted Quarterback Playoff Record: 1-1.

In short,

The Broncos cannot successfully draft quarterbacks. In those eight tries, ONE quarterback made a playoff appearance. And it was arguably the one that played the worst.

Looking at acquired quarterbacks

So, now we get to cheer up! This is the less depressing part of the article. As bad as the Broncos are at drafting quarterbacks, they are good at acquiring quarterbacks via trade or signing. Here are the notable ones.

Craig Morton

Quarterback morton takes snap from under center
Credit: Denver Broncos

Morton already has double the wins of the drafted quarterbacks on his own, with triple the playoff trips. Morton would lead the Broncos to their first Super Bowl trip in 1977, with two playoff trips to follow in the next two years. Acquired QB Record: 2-3

John Elway

Quarterback elway throws arms up in delight against seahawks
(AP Photo/Pueblo Chieftain, Bryan Kelsen)

The career of John Elway is more than his postseason roller coaster, but for purposes of this article, we are only looking at the playoffs. However, the companion video is more in-depth than this article, so again, for that depth, the link is at the top of the article. Elway had a career 14-7 playoff record, and 2-3 Superbowl record. Acquired QB playoff record: 16-10

Jake Plummer

Quarterback Plummer mid throwing motion
Steve Dykes/AP/Denver Post

Plummer almost didn’t pull it off, but he managed to squeeze himself into a playoff win in ’05, after beating the Patriots in the AFC Divisional round. He couldn’t win another outside of that one though, and leaves his record at 1-3. Acquired QB playoff record: 17-13

Peyton Manning

Quarterback peyton manning staring at something to his left
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

I decided to end this part of the list at PFM, seeing as he was the last Broncos quarterback to play in the postseason. In his 4 years as a Bronco, he racked up a 5-3 record with a 1-1 Super bowl record. As shaky as many will say his postseason career was, he was rock solid in Denver. Acquired QB playoff record: 22-16

What does this mean for Russell Wilson?

Well, historically, this bodes well for him. He has a solid postseason record of 9-7, and after some struggles these past few years, he is poised for a fresh start in Denver, almost Peyton Manning-esque if you ask me. Only time will tell, but historically, the odds look good for Russ.
Again, for the more in-depth details, the companion video is here.

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