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Broncos Insider Hints at New QB for Denver in 2021

Denver could have a new starter next season.

Woody Paige has spoken.

As plugged-in as they come — look no further than the longtime insider's reporting on Mike Shanahan and the 2019 Denver Broncos head-coaching search — Paige recently predicted that Denver will draft Alabama quarterback Mac Jones next April.

The legendary Around The Horn personality name-dropped Jones in response to a since-deleted tweet about the Broncos' future at QB.

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Buried under the star power of the incoming class, Jones is a projected Day 2 selection who wins with his smarts, ball placement, and plus pocket presence. At 6-foot-3, 214 pounds he's built similarly to current Broncos QB Drew Lock (6-4, 227), though Jones' arm is noticeably weaker.

Jones is in his third season at Alabama. As of this writing, the redshirt junior has completed 295 of 409 attempts (72.1%) for 4,739 yards, 42 touchdowns and six interceptions across 26 career games — a cumulative passer rating of 200.4.

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"It’s important not to scout the helmet; every passer is different. But it is a known fact that sometimes, talent at a school can disguise a quarterback’s shortcomings. Jones might not be the best example, as he does have some redeeming traits. His problems are exacerbated by added pressure in the NFL. Thus, Mac Jones’ NFL Draft projection becomes a little more complicated," Pro Football Network's Ian Cumming wrote of Jones in his scouting report.

"For now, I see Jones as a solid mid-round quarterback, who will probably end up being a Day 2 pick. With that being said, I could see an NFL team convincing themselves to pick him late in round 1, and if he keeps up his current trajectory, more teams will be comfortable banking on his high floor. But Jones’ athletic limitations and off-script inconsistencies collectively cap his upside, and he’ll never challenge the top four quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft."

It's interesting that Paige believes the Broncos, en route to a top-10 choice, will eschew a blue-chip prospect such as North Dakota State's Trey Lance or BYU's Zach Wilson. Doing so would allow the team to address an other area of need (offensive line, inside linebacker, or cornerback) while still nabbing its potential QB of the future (if not Lock).

Of course, though, Denver's draft strategy on Dec. 12 is unlikely to match that of April 29.

File this away for later.

Follow Zack on Twitter @KelbermanNFL and @MileHighHuddle