9NEWS Broncos Insider Mike Klis answers questions pulled from the Broncos Mailbag.
Do you have a question? Email Mike.Klis@9NEWS.com!
Why do people, especially the media, hate on Trevor so much? I honestly think he's great and deserves to be the Broncos QB of the future. I'd say most fans do, too. I'd go as far as saying maybe the next Brady with some training and development, but I don't want to sound crazy.
Caleb: Easy now, Caleb. The term "hate" is far too strong in one sense, and “the next Brady” is way too crazy in another.
Some media and fans like Siemian. Some don’t think he’s good enough to guide a team through a long postseason run. I have come across one or two media/fans who really don’t like him as a starting quarterback.
My take is, first, Siemian has some impressive qualities. I like how he throws the ball, specifically his “easy cheese” delivery with the pop he has on his throws. He is an accurate passer. He has underrated pocket mobility. And his poise under pressure and low-stress demeanor are perfectly suited for the quarterback position.
I talked to one NFL coach during the scouting combine who had done his homework on Siemian in case he became available. What this coach really liked about Siemian is his teammates helped him up when he got knocked down. Coaches notice these things. It shows Siemian’s teammates want to play well for him.
There is reason to be concerned about how he can physically hold up to NFL punishment. And I would like to see him push his passes downfield more often. Not the deep throws--he already throws a good deep ball. I’m talking about lowering that back-leg anchor and zipping in those 18-yard completions from hash to hash.
Right now, I’d say Siemian is the safest bet to become the Broncos’ starting quarterback again in 2017. As for whether he replaces first-round draft pick Paxton Lynch as the Broncos’ quarterback of the future, define future.
I just don't see Elway drafting a substandard offensive tackle with his first pick because there is a 'need'. How do you see this panning out?
--Rob DuPuis, Minneapolis
Rob: I’m with ya. For one thing, many first-round left tackles start out playing right tackle or guard. The Broncos have all they need at right tackle and the guard spots, although they could probably find a place for Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp.
The two offensive tackles that are ready to play Day 1 and would make sense for the Broncos at No. 20 are Utah’s Garett Bolles and Alabama’s Cam Robinson. Bolles will likely be gone by No. 20 and Robinson is considered better suited for right tackle or guard.
So, if Bolles is gone, I do think the Broncos will take the best player available, especially if he’s a tight end (Alabama’s O.J. Howard, Miami’s David Njoku), five-technique defensive end (Solomon Thomas, Jonathan Allen, Taco Charlton), edge pass rusher (Haason Reddick, Zach Cunningham), or, maybe, all-purpose running back Christian McCaffrey.
And then maybe in the second or third round, the Broncos can take an offensive tackle who has a high upside, but needs a year to redshirt. Someone like Florida State’s Roderick Johnson, Troy’s Antonio Garcia or Bucknell’s Julie’n Davenport.
Regarding Ron Leary, Dallas converted a college tackle into a pro guard. Are Broncos going to convert him back to tackle? If not, why did they not try to get Riley Reiff? Only way to avoid losing the season! Poor draft choices.
Tom: I was told the Broncos did pursue Reiff. The former Detroit Lion instead signed with the Minnesota Vikings. The Broncos also were interested in Baltimore right tackle Ricky Wagner, who instead signed with Detroit. And the Broncos instead signed Menelik Watson.
The Broncos were trying to bring back Russell Okung but the $25 million over the next two years he got from the Los Angeles Chargers was more than the $20.5 million two-year guarantee Denver declined prior to free agency.
And no, the Broncos won’t convert Leary back to tackle. A draft-day trade for a veteran remains possible. It’s also become a little more possible the Broncos’ season-opening left tackle is Donald Stephenson or Ty Sambrailo with a second- or third-round draft pick developing behind them.
I was wondering how much input and influence the head coaches have in determining whether John Elway drafts a player. It appears Gary Kubiak was a big believer in Trevor Siemian and then Paxton Lynch as well. On the other hand, who has influence on making offensive lineman selections? An explanation of the interaction that the coaches and scouts have with John Elway would be great to know.
--Slater Raub, Louisville, Ohio
Slater: Whether it’s a new teacher, or new construction foreman or new coach, the seasoned boss wants new ideas and is usually receptive to what the new guy thinks.
Derek Wolfe was the first player the Broncos selected in the 2012 draft largely because new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio banged the table for him.
There is no doubt Kubiak is the reason why Siemian was, first, drafted by the Broncos in the seventh round when many other teams didn’t know who he was, and, secondly, was pushed along to the very last play of the very last meaningless game as the team’s starting quarterback.
Elway listens to his coaches. He listens to Matt Russell and Tom Heckert, his top two personnel men. Elway makes the final call after considering all input.
Hey Mike, my question is do you think the Broncos are willing to trade up to grab Christian McCaffrey? They moved up last year for incompetent Paxton Lynch. So, it sounds reasonable for them to move up and grab McCaffrey because of how useful he can be to the Broncos, filling two holes on offense and on special teams, and he is more proven as a first rounder than any tackle in the first round. I don’t believe a rookie should be put in right away on the tackle spot. What do you think?
Josey: You’re an intelligent football observer, although I believe you are prematurely giving up on Lynch. Trade up from No. 20 to get McCaffrey? I would be surprised. You would move up if he were an every-down back from Day 1, and a returner.
But I think initially, McCaffrey will be a third-down and fourth down player. A great third- and fourth-down player, but he might need some time before he’s ready to take on 20 carries a game.
The best-case scenario for McCaffrey is he’s a top 15 pick. The worst-case is he goes in the top 10 of the second round. The Broncos need a multipurpose player like McCaffrey but they might be able to get one who didn’t attend Valor Christian High School with their No. 51 pick in the second round or No. 82 selection in the third.
I think the Broncos look left tackle, tight end, pass rusher, defensive end, or all-purpose running back with their first pick.
McCaffrey is in play at No. 20. I’m just not sure he’s their first option. He might be. I’m just not sure.
Always enjoy your analysis. I wanted to ask you about the left tackle situation. It's obviously a pressing need and the last thing we want is for our QB (whether it's Trevor or Paxton) getting lit up. Would Denver look at trading for Joe Thomas again? I heard some talk about Jason Peters or Joe Staley. Are they waiting on the draft now to see how the chips fall? What do you believe they do?
Matthew: The Broncos would look at making a trade for Thomas. Problem is, Cleveland is not about to trade away their All Pro left tackle.
The Browns just spent big money to acquire right guard Kevin Zeitler and center J.C. Tretter from free agency, while also giving a $47 million extension to left guard Joel Bitonio. Even with the out-of-the-box Browns’ think tank, it doesn’t make sense to then trade away Thomas.
Peters would make sense. Philadelphia asked him to take pay cut from his $9.95 million salary this year, but he apparently refused. He’s 35, but the Broncos would only need him for a year or two. The Broncos would have to finagle their remaining $16.5 million of salary cap space to bring him in. His $9.95 million and the roughly $7 million needed to sign their draft picks doesn’t quite fit. But salary caps can be manipulated.
Why have the Broncos not called the Cardinals about Jared Veldheer? I’m sure a deal could be worked out as he’s coming off an injury, and slated to possibly play right tackle.
Adrian: Veldheer is the definition of untradeable. He has two years left on his contract at an average of $7 million in cash and $10 million-plus each year in salary cap. Which is difficult to take even if he was healthy.
Which he’s not. Veldheer is coming a season-ending torn triceps injury. He has been a really good left tackle for the Raiders and Cardinals over the years. But there’s way too much health and financial risk here. Now if he’s released …
Why do the Broncos not pursue Adrian Peterson at running back to get a boost at the running game and bring back the younger backs along with his veteran experience?
John: Peterson’s style would fit the inside zone/gap power scheme favored by new Broncos’ offensive line coach Jeff Davidson. Davidson was the Vikings’ offensive line coach from 2011-15. In those five seasons, Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards, 1,266 yards and 1,485 yards in the three seasons he was healthy. He gained less than 76 yards in the other two seasons that were cut short by knee injuries that required surgeries.
From afar, my problem with Peterson is his offense becomes totally dependent on him. And he is only a rusher. He is not much of a receiver or pass protector.
I hate to knock a first-ballot Hall of Famer but the Broncos can’t waste all the talent they have at receiver in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
I also think C.J. Anderson, the Broncos’ current starting running back, is going to thrive in Davidson’s running system. Devontae Booker might, too. Anderson is a much better fit running between the tackles than the outside zone plays the Broncos preferred the past two years under head coach Gary Kubiak and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison.
First off, big fan of your mailbag! I was just wondering if you have heard anything about either of the two young QBs trying to organize their own practices with the receivers to get some extra training in before activities start? I know and Trevor Siemian is injured so not much can probably be done on his part but on the other hand it would certainly be nice to hear Paxton is actively trying to take on that challenge of the leadership role before activities start up. I think he has a real shot to win the job this time around. Thanks!
Nate: Romo is finished as a football player. Siemian and Lynch are now secure enough to curry favor with their receivers by organizing their own passing camp. Peyton Manning held four of them at Duke University. Mark Sanchez hosted the Broncos’ passing camp last year in Southern California.
Sanders has talked about being the host of the off-campus passing camp this year in the Houston area. It would make sense for him to handle it because, one, he has considerably wherewithal than either Lynch or Siemian. And two, he’s far more established as a receiver than Siemian or Lynch are as a quarterback.
What is happening with the Broncos ownership? Is the plan still for one of Pat's kid to take over?
Lance: Yep, same plan. I think the Pat Bowlen trustees led by chief executive officer Joe Ellis and general counsel Rich Slivka will continue to run the team for another, oh, five to eight more years. Bronco fans shouldn’t sweat the arrangement. The Green Bay Packers are a publicly-owned company run by a board of directors with Mark Murphy serving as president and chief executive officer. The Packers seem well-run to me.
The Ellis/Slivka/Elway leadership has been in place since 2011. The Broncos have had a pretty good run since then, winning five AFC West titles, two AFC Championships and one Super Bowl. So long as that leadership group is more dissatisfied with last year’s 9-7 than pleased with Super Bowl 50, the Broncos should be in good shape.