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John Elway’s take on Kyler Murray proves he still doesn’t get it

Vincent Frank
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Broncos general manager John Elway took to the podium Wednesday during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

The backdrop of his press conference included Denver trading for Joe Flacco and the immediate future of last year’s starting quarterback, Case Keenum.

However, the questions quickly turned toward the 2019 NFL Draft and the quarterback class. In talking to reporters, Elway indicated a lack of interest in reigning Heisman winner Kyler Murray because of his smallish 5-foot-10 frame.

As pretty much the most overrated general manager in professional sports, Elway’s biggest issue has been the very same quarterback position he excelled playing during a Hall of Fame career.

His take on Mr. Murray only adds another layer to the failures of Elway’s own evaluation process since Peyton Manning landed on his lap — seemingly another lifetime ago.

Can Elway be trusted to lead the Broncos back to relevance without any real understanding of today’s changing quarterback landscape in the NFL? The answer to that seems to be a resounding no.

Since taking over the ship for Denver’s front office back in 2011, Elway’s track record at quarterback has suggested that he values prototypical drop-back passers. How exactly has that worked, fans in Mile High?

Brock Osweiler: A huge 6-foot-7 failure.

  • Denver selected this Arizona State product in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft despite some glaring issues in college.
  • Osweiler ultimately went on to post a 5-6 record in 11 starts as a member of the Broncos over five seasons.
  • His initial performance in Denver netted the quarterback a four-year, $72 million contract with the Houston Texans back in 2016.
  • Osweiler went on to start 14 games for the Texans — throwing more interceptions than touchdowns before he was legit sold along with a draft pick to the Browns. He never played a snap for a Browns team that was coming off the second winless 16-game season in NFL history.

Paxton Lynch: We’re seeing a story repeat itself.

  • Not only did Denver select Lynch in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft,  Elway and Co. moved up with Seattle from No. 31 overall to the 26th pick — giving up a third-round selection.
  • The likes of Jaylon Smith, Myles Jack and Xavien Howard were all available with Denver’s first-round pick. Meanwhile, Dak Prescott could have been had with the third-rounder sent to Seattle.
  • Lynch ended up starting a total of three games for the Broncos before being released prior to last season. Did we mention the current free agent also stands at 6-foot-7?

Trevor Siemian: That was a fun experiment

  • It wasn’t necessarily a mistake to select this 6-foot-3 quarterback in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Why not take a chance on Siemian?
  • The issue here is that Denver went into the 2016 season with the former Northwestern quarterback as a starter after failing to work out a trade for Colin Kaepernick.
  • Siemian started 24 games for the Broncos — throwing 30 touchdowns compared to 24 interceptions in two seasons. He’s now riding the pine in Minnesota.

What’s the moral of the story here? If Mr. Elway doesn’t like a quarterback in the draft, your team might be best served taking a chance on said signal caller. After all, the track record proves he’s pretty much going to be wrong.

The other less hyperbolic point here is that Elway’s stance regarding quarterback size is absolutely ridiculous. He has opted for two 6-foot-7 signal callers. Neither have worked out.

Elway is now avoiding Murray because he doesn’t believe the reigning Heisman winner can take snaps under center. That’s all sorts of crazy. And it’s the latest example of this general manager continuing to hold his organization back at nearly every turn.