General manager John Elway and the Denver Broncos are considering their options with the No. 5 overall pick in next month's NFL draft. Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI | License Photo
Denver Broncos general manager John Elway is keeping his options open in regard to the fifth overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Although the Broncos signed Case Keenum to a two-year, $36 million deal earlier this month, that doesn't preclude the team from selecting any of the top-tier signal callers in the upcoming draft. Elway also noted that he could go in another direction, such as Penn State running back Saquon Barkley or North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb.
"That'll be wide open," Elway said, via ESPN's Jeff Legwold. " ... I'm betting we won't know what direction we're going to go until probably the day of (the first round) or the day before."
Elway has a few more weeks before that decision needs to be made. The 2018 NFL Draft will be held on April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
"We'll go through the scenarios and see where they fall," Elway said. " ... (The quarterbacks) all have their strengths and their weaknesses ... it's a good crop of young quarterbacks, and I think the chances of these guys all being pretty successful are pretty good."
Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com has USC quarterback Sam Darnold as the top overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft in his most recent edition of The Big Board. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is listed second, followed by Barkley, Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson and Chubb.
The Broncos seemingly addressed their need at quarterback by signing Keenum to a two-year, $36 million contract earlier this month.
Keenum had his best season in 2017 after replacing injured Sam Bradford as the Minnesota Vikings' quarterback in the second game of the season. He completed 67.6 percent of his passes with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions while going 11-3 in his 14 regular-season starts.
The Broncos also have a former first-round pick as a backup in Paxton Lynch, as well as Chad Kelly.
Head coach Vance Joseph didn't show much of his hand during the NFL meetings in Orlando, Fla.
"I can't say. Right now we've got three guys on our roster that we feel really good about," Joseph told the team's official website. "Obviously the draft is coming up and we'll see."
Joseph said if the Broncos opt to select at quarterback with their first selection, it should not be an indictment on the ability of Lynch, the 26th overall pick in 2016 who has started four games in his first two seasons.
"Paxton's had four to five starts, and to deem Paxton not capable, that's not fair," Joseph said. "I think once Paxton gets more time he's going to get better as a quarterback. By no means is Paxton Lynch done. ... He's a gifted guy. You put Paxton in the Combine -- that's what they look like. He's 6-5, he can run, he can throw. Wouldn't he impress at the Combine?"