Broncos general manager John Elway has high expectations for Joe Flacco.
Denver, which acquired the veteran quarterback from the Ravens in mid-February, was reportedly considering taking a quarterback with its first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. But, it ultimately traded back from No. 10 to No. 20 before selecting tight end Noah Fant out of Iowa.
“Our comfort with Joe enabled us to pass on a quarterback,” Elway told NBC Sports’ Peter King. “What made that decision is, Joe is fitting really well with what we want to do offensively, and he looked great in our minicamp last week.”
Flacco won Super Bowl 47 with the Ravens but has been inconsistent in recent years. He threw for 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2017 before starting just nine games last season. He was ultimately replaced under center in Baltimore by Lamar Jackson.
“He really put on a throwing exhibition last week in camp,” Elway said. “I truly think we’ve got a guy coming into his prime.”
The Broncos did end up taking Missouri quarterback Drew Lock in the second round at No. 42 overall.
“Joe’s the starter,” Elway said after the draft, via USA Today’s Broncos Wire. “When we look at it, we’re hoping Drew is the future, but Joe is the starter, is going to be the starter and he’s going to battle. … (Lock) is going to have time to sit and watch Joe and take his time and learn and continue to get better. We feel we’re in a good situation there.”
Lock said he was excited to learn from Flacco.
“Joe is a great quarterback,” Lock said. “Obviously, he’s won a lot of football games and won a Super Bowl. I couldn’t be more excited to be able to go in there and learn from a guy like that. Just to get under him and see what he’s all about. … Just be the best teammate I can be right off the bat.”
The Broncos finished 2018 with a 6-10 record and missed the playoffs for a third straight season. They fired former coach Vance Joseph in late December and hired Vic Fangio to replace him.