The Denver Broncos feel like they are a quarterback away from being competitive in the AFC West. The battle gearing up in camp is one of the more interesting ones from over the years.

Let’s face it – quarterback camp battles are exciting. In the case of the Denver Broncos quarterback battle between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater, it’s no exception to the rule. The Broncos quarterbacks, in this case, are opposite styles, and both have struggled through the early parts of the offseason.

Denver wants to be competitive. They’re currently projected in the bottom of the AFC West, a division featuring arguably the best team in the NFL – the Kansas City Chiefs. With the Las Vegas Raiders remaining somewhat competitive and the Los Angeles Chargers rising, it’s threatening to leave the Broncos behind.

This is why this quarterback battle becomes so much more important for Denver.

Some players in Denver are looking past the battle. Von Miller recently reminded the media that the team has Drew Lock when discussing Aaron Rodgers trade rumors. Reportedly, from reliable sources such as Benjamin Albright, the Broncos are confident in Lock as he enters his third professional season.

I think it would be great to measure each prospect gearing up for the battle while also addressing certain rumors floating around about the Broncos quarterback situation.

The Denver Broncos incumbent starter: Drew Lock

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Drew Lock has yet to put it all together. He’s flashed at times with his performance on the field, especially when playing against lesser talented teams in the league. As NBC Sports Edge NFL writer Thor Nystrom points out, Lock has yet to prove himself against playoff teams. He also makes the point that Lock has struggled with this since his days in college. It’s hard to argue with his metrics.

Lock has a strong arm but has struggled to remain consistent throughout his career. His accuracy, even in college, flashed the ability to be special. It’s what attracted NFL teams to him. However, he hasn’t been able to perform well because of his lack of consistent accuracy. Broncos insider Benjamin Allbright noted that it looked like Lock was “overthinking” in camp.

The new Broncos quarterback in town: Teddy Bridgewater

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The Denver Broncos had hoped that Teddy Bridgewater could bring some stability to the quarterback room following a less than stellar season in Carolina as the Panthers starting quarterback. The Broncos acquired Bridgewater in a trade briefly before the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s had an interesting career, marred by injuries and lack of consistency.

He struggled last season, especially following the knee injury that forced him to miss a couple of games. “I think once we played Tampa that second game, and I took a shot,” Bridgewater admitted, “I probably should have just shut it down for the rest of the season, but I just love this game, and I never take it for granted.”

His play dropped off significantly and removed Carolina from making a playoff run in 2020. He doesn’t have great arm strength but can move out of the pocket and throw with anticipation.

Aaron Rodgers to the Denver Broncos rumors

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Because of the lack of proven talent at the position, trade rumors are rampant across the league. With star quarterback Aaron Rodgers currently dissatisfied with his time in Green Bay, it’s obvious that rumors would connect the pair. Rodgers reportedly wants a trade from Green Bay where he can have more control on the offensive roster.

If the Broncos were in a position to trade for Aaron Rodgers, should they make a move? Rodgers will turn 38 in December. For the pieces that logically would be needed to move a star quarterback, it’s hard to imagine that it would be good for the team. Think of when the Broncos signed Peyton Manning. It helped the team in the short term but didn’t do well long term, especially when Manning rode off into the sunset. Manning was also 36 when he signed with Denver to play quarterback.

Can you reasonably expect this trade? No, I don’t believe so. People much more familiar with the situation don’t believe so either. Benjamin Allbright did note that the Broncos are the team Aaron Rodgers would prefer to play for, but the deal still has to be agreed to.

What to expect from the Broncos quarterback battle

It honestly sounds like the Denver Broncos are comfortable with the quarterbacks they currently have on the roster. Between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater, the Broncos quarterbacks fight ahead of them in 2021. I wouldn’t expect either of them to start all 17 games in 2021, either. Both have seen their share of injuries and struggled to stay on the field.

I think that Drew Lock dukes it out and wins the battle initially. His arm strength is better suited to help stretch the field to utilize the speed that the Broncos have assembled on the perimeters. While Bridgewater brings the dynamic dual-threat ability, it’s not something that fits well within what the Broncos want to do.

This is a make-or-break year for Lock. If he can’t get it done, it’s hard to see him leading the Broncos beyond 2021.

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By John Vogel

NFL Draft Analyst. Dad.

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