Hardly earth-shattering news; the depth chart currently lists Kyle Orton and Chris Simms. Both serviceable players (and I'm on record saying Orton can handle the gig), but neither the type you build a team around. Plus, Josh McDaniels was an offensive coordinator with the Patriots before taking the Broncos job; he's not going to be content to rely on his defense to win games. This ain't Baltimore.
Of course, if that's the plan, it makes you wonder why Cutler was traded. (I know why he was traded -- he's a baby -- but just because he's unhappy doesn't mean you ship him out of town the first chance you get. As former NFL general manager Charley Casserly pointed out on NFL Network recently: "If [Cutler] wanted to be traded, that's fine, Jay, we're not trading you. There wouldn't have been anymore discussion on the matter and that's it.")
That's not how things went down. And now the Broncos could be in the quarterback business come draft weekend. Mayock was stupefied by Denver's decision to unload Cutler, which is why he thinks Mark Sanchez should be in their immediate future. From Monday's "Path to the Draft":
"You've just handed a way a franchise quarterback. You've got this offense that's like a Corvette, it's revved up and ready to go, and you don't have a quarterback now.Wow. So not only should the Broncos draft Sanchez, they might need to trade up in Round 1 to do it. If that happens, McDaniels will have to make the playoffs in 2009 to justify all the recent quarterback upheaval, or we'll be talking about him as a hot-seat candidate next spring.
And I think the quarterback in this draft that fits Josh McDaniels the best is Mark Sanchez. I'm not sure you can wait till [the 12th pick] to find out if he's there. I know there defense needs to be overhauled, but I know even more so that they've got to find that young quarterback. Now is the time.
This kid fits what they do. He understands how to read defenses, he gets the football out of his hands quickly. Five-step drop, no hitch, he understands the NFL pass attack, he understands it quickly. So I think he can step in Day 1... he can be the starting quarterback, and I think [Denver] needs to trade up -- whatever it takes, they got to get Mark Sanchez.
Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan proved that rookie QBs can have success, but they also had the luxury of pretty good defenses. Denver played most of last season with a defense in name only, and if the front office uses up all the first-day draft picks to get Sanchez, it'll be more of same this time around.
Look, I love Mayock and feel dirty disagreeing with him, but the Broncos have too many needs to mortgage this draft on Sanchez. Worst case: they stockpile defensive studs in two weeks, go into '09 with Orton, and take their pick from a QB-heavy draft class next April.