The debate, outrage or bewilderment over the Denver Broncos selection of quarterback Brock Osweiler disappeared as the team went 13-3 in 2012. However, now that we are in the off-season, those feelings have resurfaced for some.
The argument against the Osweiler pick was always that it was a wasted one because it did nothing to help the Broncos win now. While I understand that position, I strongly disagree with it. The quarterback position is the most important one in sports, and Peyton Manning will be 37 heading into next season. It’s too easy to say who cares about 2015 in 2012 but when that day comes, those same people are going to care who the quarterback is.
No one is saying that Osweiler is going to be “the guy”, but he has a chance to be, and it’s not just me saying that.
The Broncos, particularly John Elway, are extremely pleased with Osweiler’s development, and are happier with the pick now then when they made it. The critic will say that of course Elway is going to say that, but you can’t have it both ways. Elway took heat, way too much heat, when he was honest about Tim Tebow’s ability to throw. It’s hypocritical to now come back and say Elway is not being honest about Osweiler. In addition to Elway and the Broncos, most draft experts and some personnel executives have said that Osweiler would have easily been a first-round pick if he had come out this season.
The other argument was if you are going to draft a quarterback of the future, then what about Russell Wilson or Brandon Weeden? There was no bigger fan of Wilson than me coming out of college, but he is already in his mid-20s, Weeden is in his late 20s. If they sat behind Manning for three seasons, they are all ready going to be older players. Osweiler just turned 22 and in three years he will only be 25.
There were also people who said why did the Broncos have to take the quarterback of the future last year, and why not wait till this year, or even next? That’s how a fan sees it, but Elway and the Broncos have to look two and three drafts ahead, and the quarterback crop is not very good coming out of college. The class last year was loaded in terms of quarterbacks, and the Broncos grabbed one.
The last and maybe the most important point is this, Osweiler is learning under Manning and Elway. There’s no better situation for a young, developing quarterback.
Go back to the game versus the Kansas City Chiefs at the end of the season when Osweiler got in during the fourth quarter. He only played a couple series, but Manning was in his ear after each one of them going over what he saw, what the defense was and what the read was. There’s no substitute for that kind of on-the-job training. Osweiler also gets to practice with Manning, sit in meetings with him, and watch him prepare. Again, there is no better training.
We are not going to know if Osweiler can play until he plays on a regular basis, hopefully three or four years from now, but he is in a perfect situation. It’s easy to be critical of that pick now, but think back to when Elway retired. How long did fans have to wait for a good quarterback? When Elway signed Manning, he was doing his job. When Elway picked Osweiler, he was doing his job.
His job is keeping one eye on the present and one eye on the future.
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