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Here are the Broncos' chief competitors in the early-round QB hunt

Ken Pomponio Avatar
April 13, 2016

 

It’s a little more than two weeks until D-Day – a.k.a. the start of the NFL Draft – and your Denver Broncos still have only journeyman Mark Sanchez and untested second-year pro Trevor Siemian holding down their quarterback line on the depth chart.

Broncos Country knows – and is most definitely hoping – there soon will be an extra name or two rounding out the QB contingent, and that in mind, the Orange & Blue are hosting a pair of top QB prospects – Memphis’ Paxton Lynch and Michigan State’s Connor Cook – in pre-draft visits this week.

So barring a deal with Colin Kaepernick here in the next 14 days, the Broncos will almost certainly be in the early-round hunt for a QB come April 28-29.

Who else could be joining them and jockeying for position to snare one of the top collegiate prospects? Here’s a rundown of the other NFL teams who figure to be in the quarterback hunt during the draft’s first two rounds:

Browns

Top-two-round picks: 2, 32

The skinny: Johnny Manziel is out, and the search for yet another QB is in progress while Robert Griffin III serves as a bridge option. The Browns aren’t expected to waste any time as the overwhelming majority of mock drafts have them taking either North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz or Cal’s Jared Goff with the second-overall pick.

Cowboys

Top-two-round picks: 4, 34

The skinny: Believe it or not, Tony Romo will turn 36 next week, and he’s only played two full seasons in the last six. In the meantime, Dallas has definitely struggled under a variety of backups, and it would be far from a shocker to see GM Jerry Jones grab either Wentz or Goff with the fourth-overall pick.

49ers

Top-two-round picks: 7, 37

The skinny: Even though the Niners picked up Kaepernick’s 2016 salary option, and the QB participated in the team’s inaugural spring workout session, it’s far from an ideal or lasting marriage, and nobody’s going to pretend that Blaine Gabbert is the long- — or even short- — term answer either.

Eagles

Top-two-round picks: 8

The skinny: Despite re-upping with Sam Bradford on an eye-popping two-year, $35 million extension and signing Chase Daniel to be one of the best-paid backups in the league, Philly has hosted all the top QB draft prospects and appears to be legitimately interested. Having only one pick, though, in the first two rounds is a definite drawback.

Saints

Top-two-round picks: 12, 47

The skinny: Drew Brees is 37, and barring an offseason extension, is heading into a contract year so don’t rule out Sean Payton’s bunch from snaring a young arm they like, particularly in the second round.

Rams

Top-two-round picks: 15, 43, 45

The skinny: Coach Jeff Fisher and the Rams keep insisting that they’re confident in Case Keenum as their starter, but that’s a thinly-veiled pre-draft smokescreen if there ever was one, particularly with the team needing generate some buzz heading into its return season in L.A. As a result, a good number of mocks have Lynch falling no further than the 15th pick in the opening round.

Jets

Top-two-round picks: 20, 51

The skinny: As of right now, Ryan Fitzpatrick is still unsigned, and Geno Smith is listed atop the depth chart. Even if Fitz eventually is retained as expected, don’t rule out an early-round QB selection for N.Y.

Cardinals

Top-two-round picks: 29, 61

The skinny: Carson Palmer will be 37 in December and is coming off a forgettable flop in the NFC Championship Game. Coach Bruce Arians is a QB guru, and the time is ripe for the Cards to invest in a young gun.

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