Broncos G.M. John Elway says signing Case Keenum in free agency won’t preclude using the fifth overall pick in the draft on a quarterback.
“That’ll be wide open,” Elway told Adam Schefter. “I’m betting we won’t know what direction we’re going to go until probably the day of [the first round] or the day before.”
That phrasing suggests Elway has a quarterback he likes among the top choices — Wyoming’s Josh Allen, USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen or Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield — but that he isn’t counting on the quarterback he likes being available with the fifth overall pick.
Keenum got $25 million guaranteed on a two-year contract and will almost certainly be the Week One starter, but the Broncos could draft a quarterback they expect to take over for Keenum by 2019 or 2020 at the latest. Still, given that the Broncos have a defense they think they can win with now, it would seem to make more sense to use the fifth overall pick to draft a player who can contribute to a turnaround this season, rather than a player who will spend this season holding a clipboard.