Denver Broncos general manager John Elway is keeping his options open with the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
With a glut of quarterbacks expected to go in the first round, it has been widely assumed that the Broncos would snag one of them, but Elway told reporters Thursday that is not necessarily the case.
“I’m open to trading,” said Elway. “We will take the best player that’s best for the Denver Broncos. Whoever is there.”
The Broncos already have worked out USC quarterback Sam Darnold, who is viewed as the top overall prospect in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang in his most Big Board.
Although the Broncos signed Case Keenum to a two-year, $36 million deal last month, Elway said that doesn’t preclude the team from selecting any of the top-tier signal callers in the upcoming draft.
NFLDraftScout.com projects Denver to take Wyoming’s Josh Allen with the fifth selection. At many as six quarterbacks could go in the first round, matching the record haul of 1983, when Elway was the No. 1 overall pick.
The Broncos also have a former first-round pick as a backup quarterback in Paxton Lynch, along with Chad Kelly on the roster as well.
Elway said he would be interested to hear from other teams, but if he decides to go in another direction at quarterback, there is elite talent at myriad positions.
Rang lists UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen as No. 2 on his Big Board, followed by Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson and North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb.
Even if Denver opts to take a quarterback, Elway left no doubt that he would not be expecting that player to make an immediate contribution.
“Case is our starter,” Elway said. “We’ll cross that road when we get there. Every situation for young quarterbacks is different. I think it’s different in today’s world, and the fact that it depends on what kind of football team those guys step onto. They’re thrown out there and the expectations are formed to come out and play early.”