The Denver Broncos are again looking for a new starting quarterback, something they have been doing ever since Peyton Manning retired in 2015. The Broncos are a potential landing spot for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, should he decide to take his talents elsewhere, but this week is about taking a look at the incoming crop of quarterbacks at the NFL combine.
On Tuesday, new Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett took to the podium at the combine to answer questions from reporters. Naturally, the quarterback question came up, and Hackett laid out what he’s looking for in his new starter.
“I think for a quarterback, the most important thing, they have to be tough,” Hackett said. “They have to be tough — mental and physical. The stresses they go through, just being able to stand in front of so many different people. Then you look at the physical aspect of it, to be able to take hits. Because even if it’s perfect, you’re going to be hit and it’s a long season. So it’s that form of toughness and then intelligence. The ability to be able to call a play. We have long play calls and to be able to understand the different defenses you’re going to do to get yourself into a perfect play. And then accuracy. Those are kind of the three top ones. And then if you’re lucky, you get an athletic guy, too. But really, those are the four things that we look for in a quarterback with a lot of other things that kind of go into it.”
So toughness, intelligence, accuracy and athleticism are the boxes Hackett is looking to check while examining these rookie quarterbacks. The Broncos are scheduled to have formal interviews Tuesday night with Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral of Ole Miss and Liberty’s Malik Willis, per Mike Klis of 9News.
Denver holds the No. 9 overall pick in the draft, and three of our four CBS Sports NFL Draft experts have the Broncos taking a defensive player at that spot. However, our Josh Edwards has the Broncos trading their No. 9 overall pick to the Seattle Seahawks along with other picks for star quarterback Russell Wilson. He’s certainly a player who has shown toughness, intelligence, accuracy and athleticism in his 10 NFL seasons.