ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — For months, speculation that the Broncos would take a quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft swirled around UCHealth Training Center.
Even after Case Keenum signed with Denver as a free agent in March, rumors continued to build that John Elway would select a quarterback with the fifth-overall pick.
That obviously didn't happen, as the Broncos snagged Bradley Chubb on Thursday once he fell by Cleveland.
Perhaps more surprisingly, though, Elway and Co. didn't use any of their ensuing nine picks on a quarterback, either.
"We were looking at the board and there were a couple of quarterbacks over there," Elway said Saturday during the Broncos' post-draft press conference. "I thought that we had other players that we wanted in the direction that we wanted to go."
That direction also veers away from bringing in a college free agent quarterback to compete during OTAs and training camp. Elway said Saturday that Paxton Lynch, Chad Kelly and starter Case Keenum will be the only three quarterbacks in the building during the Broncos' offseason workout program.
This decision seems to send a message of encouragement to each of the quarterbacks in varying fashions.
To Keenum: Elway and Head Coach Vance Joseph's choice reinforces the declaration that he is the clear-cut starter and the leader of the football team.
To Lynch: They've expressed that the former first-round pick still has room to grow and develop into a high-quality NFL quarterback.
To Kelly: The seventh-round pick has a chance to compete for a backup role after a redshirt year in 2017 as he rehabbed from an injury.
"With Paxton, we still think he is young," Elway said. "We are not kicking him to the curb. He cans still develop. When we drafted him two years ago, as I said, we knew it was going to take some time. Paxton is going to compete with Chad for that backup spot."
As the newest Broncos arrive at UCHealth Training Center in the coming weeks, a number of position battles will unfold.
That backup quarterback battle will be among them — but the faces will be the same.
Get a glimpse at what life is like for the Broncos' Day 2 draft picks when they arrived at UCHealth Training Center on Saturday. (Photos by Gabriel Christus