- The Denver Broncos acquired quarterback Teddy Bridgewater from the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday
- Denver is now favored to take an offensive lineman at #9 overall in Thursday’s NFL Draft
- Prior to the deal, the Broncos were at -106 odds to take a QB with their first-round pick
The Denver Broncos got themselves an NFL quarterback on Wednesday and it didn’t cost the team a first-round draft pick. Denver traded a sixth-round pick to the Carolina Panthers for Teddy Bridgewater, who was the Panthers’ starting QB last season.
According to published reports, Carolina will also be picking of $7 million of Bridgewater’s 2021 salary of $10 million.
This move almost certainly eliminates the Broncos from being in play for a quarterback during the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Offensive lineman (+200) is currently listed as the favored position for Denver’s first pick in the NFL Draft odds.
Prior to the Bridgewater deal, QB was the -106 chalk to be Denver’s first-roud pick.
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The first round of the NFL Draft is slated for Thursday, April 29th at 8:00 pm ESPN is carrying the broadcast.
No Lock On Position
The decision to add Bridgewater instead of investing in a QB with their first-round pick likely means that the Broncos aren’t ready yet to give up on Drew Lock as their QB of the future. At the same time, the addition of the veteran Bridgewater buys the team an insurance policy for the upcoming season if the determination is that Lock isn’t going to be their guy long term.
The AFC West is a division in which Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers have come in from the draft and ignited their team’s respective offenses. Lock, it can safely be stated, has not done the same for the Broncos.
OFFICIAL: We’ve agreed to trade for QB Teddy Bridgewater.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) April 28, 2021
Last season, he was 21st in the NFL in passing yardage (2,933 yards). That left Lock nearly 1,000 yards in arrears to Bridgewater, who was 17th in the league (3,733). Bridgewater also handily bettered Lock in completion percentage (69.1-57.3), average yards per completion (76.-6.6), yards per game (248.9-225.6), passer rating (92.1-75.4) and QBR (64.2-48.8).
Lock held a 16-15 advantage in touchdown passes. However, he was also picked off 15 times. Bridgewater threw 11 interceptions.
Broncos Out of Early QB Bidding
A number of NFL mock drafts were slotting Ohio State QB Justin Fields going to the Broncos with the #9 pick. There was also speculation that Denver might look to trade up to possibly gain a better chance to land another QB, perhaps North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
While Wednesday’s move clearly wasn’t a ringing endorsement of Lock’s performance as an NFL starter, it still leaves him with a fighting chance to be Denver’s guy going forward. Had Denver opted to draft a QB in the first round, Lock would’ve found himself in the same scenario as Bridgewater was in Carolina.
“Acquiring Teddy Bridgewater adds competition, experience and a strong veteran presence to our quarterback room."
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) April 28, 2021
The moment the Panthers acquired Sam Darnold from the New York Jets, Bridgewater was living on borrowed time in Carolina.
Evidently, the Broncos determined that they weren’t going to get an elite QB at #9, or perhaps that the cost of moving up was too prohibitive a price to pay. Bringing in Bridgewater gives Denver another season to determine whether Lock can lock down the starting job going forward.
Who Will Denver Pick?
Now that ruling out a QB makes sense, where will the Broncos look to upgrade their team during the first round of the NFL Draft? Let’s be blunt – when your team goes 5-11, there are plenty of areas of need.
Denver may require a right tackle by 2022 if the club opts not to pick up the contract option on oft-injured starter Ja’Wuan James. However, that’s not a pressing need.
On today’s podcast…
— Locked On Nittany Lions (@LockedOnNittany) April 27, 2021
A coverage linebacker who can stay with NFL tight ends and running backs most certainly is, though. You’ll come across a litany of NFL mock drafts that are showing Penn State LB Micah Parsons going to Denver at #9.
In fact, since the Bridgewater deal went down, Parsons is now the +340 favorite to go to the Broncos.
Pick: Linebacker (+250)