Woody Paige: The curious case of Trevor Siemian

In Siemian, have the Broncos found The Successor?

The curious case of Trevor Siemian is a peculiar paradox.

Siemian is the lowest-paid starting quarterback in the NFL at $628,000. Yet, he has thrown the most touchdown passes in the league after two games — six.

And Trevor has a higher quarterback rating (106.9) than such famous people as Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers — and Dak Prescott.

Present at Mile High Stadium on Sunday were seven recognizable quarterbacks — O’ No. 7 his own self (John Elway), Peyton Manning, Troy Aikman, Prescott, Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch and Siemian.

SUPERMIAN had the best Sunday of them all.

He was the quarterback in a 42-17 victory over a team generally considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender this season. He made the Cowboys look like city slickers.

Perhaps the Broncos have found The Successor.

Siemian was the 250th player drafted in 2015 — in the last round.

Sure, it’s way, way premature to make comparisons, but Brady was picked by the Patriots in the sixth round.

And Marilyn Monroe was discovered on a soda fountain stool at Schwab’s Drug Store in Hollywood.

Siemian is on pace for 48 touchdown pass. That’s a Manning-type number. Of course, judging the Broncos and Siemian after two home games is ludicrous, but both the team and the quarterback have been impressive enough for everyone to rethink the possibilities for 2017.

In a pre-show conference call Monday for the daily national ESPN program "Around The Horn," which I’ve been a part of for 15 years, the question was: "Was the victory by the Broncos more about the offense or the defense?"

Three other wise commentators were specific: "Trevor Siemian," they said.

As Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times, the best columnist in the country, opined: "The Broncos didn’t even know who their starting quarterback would be a couple of months ago, and look at Siemian now."

Suddenly, the world has awakened to Siemian.

He doesn’t belong in the same sentence with Elway or Manning.

But I just put him there.

It has been suggested that Elway made mistakes by drafting Osweiler and Lynch, and you can throw in Zac Dysert, and who knows about Chad Kelly’s future, but Elway obviously deserves credit for listening to Gary Kubiak and Greg Knapp, the former head coach and the former offensive coordinator, respectively, and selecting Siemian, who tore his ACL as a senior at Northwestern and had been a seldom starter for the Wildcats and was contemplating a job in commercial real estate after graduation.

Nobody else in the NFL seemed interested in Siemian, and truth is, the Broncos didn’t really know what they had in him. Maybe he would become a backup to Osweiler when Manning retired; maybe he would be a scout team quarterback and camp fodder; maybe he would be cut in 2015 and out of football totally.

Instead, Siemian was intriguing enough in 2015 to be included on the practice squad (after clearing waivers), and to even be activated for one game when Manning was hurt. He didn’t play a down in the Super Bowl 50 season, but Siemian got a championship ring just like everyone else.

Then, last season, he was about the 15th choice to be the Broncos’ quarterback. When Manning did retire and Osweiler bolted for the Texans, Elway tried to recruit and trade for Colin Kaepernick (and that’s an international subject for another day), and kicked the tires on a number of other potential new, veteran quarters. Finally, Elway acquired Mark Sanchez for a bag of footballs, and he traded up to draft Lynch with the 26th overall pick.

Siemian was the Last Man Standing.

This year, with a new coaching staff on offense and Elway still in the front office (promoted to president of football operations), the Broncos did everything they could to give the starting job to Lynch — and Siemian seethed privately.

The People’s Choice was undrafted free agent Kyle Sloter.

Lynch wasn’t up to the task, and might not ever be, and Sloter was sharp against street free agents, but no so much during workouts against the Broncos’ defense.

And Siemian again became The First Man Standing & Starting.

How do you like him now?

Trevor is 2-0 and has performed admirably, except for three or four hiccups.

He’s no longer a curious, peculiar project. Trevor Siemian is the Broncos quarterback for now, and could be for a long time.

      

         

      

      

      

      

      

        

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