Broncos Floated as Trade Destination for AFC QB Sharing ‘Similarities’ With Drew Brees

Sean Payton

Getty Will Broncos coach Sean Payton get his guy under center in 2024?

Will head coach Sean Payton solve the ongoing quarterback puzzle ahead of his second season with the Denver Broncos?

Payton has limited free agent options and may have to secure his guy in the 2024 NFL draft. If the veteran coach does not find an answer in the draft, there is one in-conference option to consider.

Jared Mueller of Dawgs By Nature floated the Broncos as a trade destination for Cleveland Browns backup QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

“While we understand that Thompson-Robinson is far from the quarterback that Drew Brees was, they have similarities,” Mueller wrote on April 5. “Smaller-in-stature quarterbacks with quick releases who don’t go downfield much are able to do well in Payton’s system. DTR struggled being thrown into the fire as a rookie but showed upside in training camp and preseason games.”

Cleveland selected Thompson-Robinson in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL draft. The UCLA product started three games with starter Deshaun Watson sidelined most of last season.

Thompson-Robinson went 1-2 in his three starts, completing 53.6% of his passes with a 1-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Mueller noted trading for the second-year signal caller might be the best option for Payton and the Broncos due to a lack of draft capital.

“With so few assets to work with, Sean Payton being unlikely to be willing to punt on the season and the lack of quality QBs available, trading a pick for DTR makes sense,” Mueller wrote.

Broncos Caught a Glimpse at Dorian Thompson-Robinson in Week 12

Following a troublesome 1-5 start, the Broncos would go on to win five straight, the final coming in a 29-12 win over the Browns in Week 12.

Unfortunately for Thompson-Robinson, he fell victim to a resurgent Denver defense in his third and final start of the 2023 campaign.

The UCLA product completed 14-of-29 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown pass, finishing with a 73.1 passer rating. His 2-yard touchdown pass to Harrison Bryant with 6:42 remaining in the third quarter got Cleveland within two points.

However, the Browns would not get any closer as Denver scored the final 15 points of the game. Thompson-Robinson was knocked out with a head injury late in the second half off a hit from Broncos linebacker Baron Browning.

Cleveland benched the rookie for veteran Joe Flacco, who would go on to start in the Wild Card Round against the Houston Texans.

Would Dorian Thompson-Robinson Make Sense for Payton & the Broncos?

The writing might be on the wall for Thompson-Robinson in a Browns uniform. Cleveland signed former New Orleans Saints backup Jameis Winston to a one-year deal on March 20.

With the second-year QB likely reduced to third on the depth chart, should he get a shot to compete in Denver?

Securing a franchise passer in the NFL draft is not a guarantee for Payton. Also, the Broncos have only eight picks, lacking enough draft capital to move up for one of the top prospects. Thompson-Robinson was an experienced and accomplished player at UCLA.

He started 48 games with the Bruins, finishing with 88 touchdown passes to 36 interceptions in his five-year collegiate career.

Between Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci, the pair has just five games of combined starting experience. Thompson-Robinson nearly matched that mark in his first season and perhaps could show improvement under Payton’s guidance.

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