ESPN’s future power rankings predicts turmoil until QB is found

Jul 19, 2021, 1:27 PM | Updated: 1:31 pm

Besides the ginormous question at the quarterback position, the Denver Broncos are coming into the 2021 season with optimism and hope that their bolstered roster can snap a four-year losing streak, but what about the next several years?

ESPN has made their projections for how each of the 32 NFL squads will fare through the 2023 season, and for Broncos fans, it’s a depressingly predictable story.

How did Denver fare in the projections of which NFL franchises are in the best shape for the next three seasons? The Broncos came it at No. 24 out of 32 teams with an overall score of 71.4.

To project which NFL franchises are in the best shape for the next three seasons (2021 through 2023), ESPN asked their panel of experts (Jeremy Fowler, Louis Riddick, Seth Walder and Field Yates) to rate each team’s quarterback situation, remaining (non-QB) roster, drafting ability, front office and coaching.

Each was weighted — quarterback situation (20%), the rest of the roster (30%), draft ability (15%), front office (15%), and coaching (20%) — to compute a total score out of a possible 100.

On why the club is ranked where it is, Yates wrote:

“The Broncos have one of the league’s best defenses — filled with talented and feisty competitors — a wide receiver group that is drenched with possible stardom and a dynamic tight end. The missing link, however, is a quarterback who can be counted on right now as the long-range answer. Drew Lock’s inconsistent start to his career casts more questions than answers about his future, and the team bypassed two first-round quarterbacks at pick No. 9 this year. If Denver gets its hands on a QB solution, watch out.”

Of course there are a lot of worries heading into the 2021 season, mainly headlined by the quarterback position.

That’s what Riddick wrote about on what problems the Broncos could face:

“I’m surprised that Denver did not address the QB position in the draft. While the Broncos have nice pieces at tight end and receiver, and they are continually building out the offensive line Quinn Meinerz was a steal at the draft this year), they are not going to make up sustainable ground on the Chiefs in the AFC West until QB is a strength rather than a weakness.”

The Broncos are getting back key veterans and playmakers after a gruesome 2020 season saw many starters sidelined. Could this help their chances in 2021?

On what could change for the better Fowler wrote:

Denver has a receiving corps that’s enticing to future quarterbacks. If Lock is not the answer, another signal-caller would have no problem throwing to Noah Fant, Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick. Many around the league believe Deshaun Watson was intrigued by Denver before facing a league investigation into sexual assault allegations against him.”

AFC West Future Power Rankings

1. Kansas City Chiefs — No. 1 with an overall ranking of 88.5
2. Los Angeles Chargers — No. 11 with an overall ranking of 79.9
3. Denver Broncos — No. 24 with an overall ranking of 71.4
4. Las Vegas Raiders — No. 28 with an overall ranking of 68.9


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