Here’s the thing…. Yes, the Broncos drafted a young, very talented QB to be their key future franchise player. Guess what? The key word is future. Meaning not now and also meaning not guaranteed. Nothing in the future is guaranteed and I think we can all agree on that point. Dictionary.com states the definition of the word “future” as “a condition, especially of success OR failure, to come.” First round talent, as we will later discuss, in no way dictates that a player is going to perform at “X” high of a level. It in no way guarantees or can really even be used as a predictor of whether or not a player is going to succeed in the NFL. For as many great first round players there have been, there are even more that went terribly wrong. We have to stick with the facts and what we think will be the most likely outcome. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Paxton Lynch, and I have ZERO problems with the Broncos selecting him in their first pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. Paxton Lynch may be the new shiny thing in town, but for now, his time will have to wait. Now is the time of Trevor Siemian.
So what do we know about Siemian? Well we know he is smart. He graduated from Northwestern University, majoring in Communication Studies. We also know he is super talented. He only started 14 games in college and ranked fourth all-time at NU in career passing yards and completions, and 6th in total offensive yards according to Northwestern University Sports. He also finished 7th in total career passing touchdowns. We are talking about 14 total games here people. That is super impressive.
We know he was drafted by the Broncos in the 2015 draft. He was drafted number 250 overall. Don’t get me wrong, that clearly indicates he was not given that high of a draft grade. Keep this in mind though; According to Profootballhof.com, there are 107 Hall of Fame inductees who were first round draft picks. Now that seems (and definitely is) a very impressive number. However, there are over 290 total players in the hall of fame. So less than 40% of Hall of Fame inductees have come from the first round of the draft. Interesting, no? So clearly being drafted in the first round guarantees you nothing. Granted, there are more first round players in the Hall of Fame than any other draft round, but I digress.
We also know that Siemian spent a year under Peyton “Freaking” Manning, arguably (he is in my book) the greatest NFL Quarterback (or player) to have ever played the game of football. You are going to tell me that doesn’t account for something? Ask Steve Young or Aaron Rodgers what they learned from their predecessors. If nothing else, Siemian learned how to prepare like no one else in the game prepares. He got to see the work ethic and dedication that Peyton put into every game. Into every practice. Into every throw. He got to see firsthand, what it takes to be a top tier QB in the NFL. Check that box off.
So he has the smarts, he has the talent, he has the motivation, and he has the football IQ. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty good recipe for any football player to start with. If I’m an NFL coach, and you give me a guy who possesses all those skills and ask me to turn him into a Pro Bowl football player, I’d probably say… “Great, where do I sign?” Can Trevor Siemian be a Pro Bowler? Can he be a Pro Bowler this season? Absolutely. Anyone who doubts that, isn’t paying close enough attention to this guy.
If all that weren’t enough, let me take you to the 3rd preseason game from August 27th. Trevor goes out and has a pretty dang good opening drive. The Broncos are driving to the end zone, and bam, he throws a not so great pass, off a not so great read, which turned into an interception near the end zone. He comes out on the next drive and throws some great passes and ultimately finds Virgil Green in the end zone off of a beautiful play action fake. He looked like he didn’t even remember he just threw an interception just a few plays ago! So now you can add determination, focus, and flat out grit to this dude’s attributes. Keeps getting better… I know right?!
So what does this all mean for the 2016-17 Broncos season. Well let’s not get crazy. He is a second year QB, and he is going to make second year QB mistakes. According to ESPN.com, Peyton Manning threw 26 TDs and 15 INTs in his second season. To be fair to Siemian, Manning threw 26 TDs and 28 INTS in his first true NFL season. Manning turned out to be the G.O.A.T (or at least one of them). Is Siemian the next PFM? History would tell us, probably not. However, you can’t judge a book by its cover and you can’t judge a Quarterback’s future success and legacy from the first few games of his career (Go look at Elway’s stats if you don’t believe me). Trevor Siemian’s book is just starting and the first few pages have definitely got me hooked.