Nearly a year after Mitch Trubisky made his professional debut for the Chicago Bears in relief of Mike Glennon/Mark Sanchez, the Denver Broncos find themselves in a peculiar quarterback situation of their own, as the teams get set for joint practices in Colorado.
Chad Kelly has leap-frogged Paxton Lynch to become Denver’s second-string quarterback. And while that might not be a thing that matters to the Bears directly, it’s something that will certainly make waves in the football world. And not just because Kelly is now one play away from becoming a starter.
You see, Lynch was a first-round pick by the Broncos in 2016 and was projected to be the heir apparent to Peyton Manning and next in the line of standout Denver quarterbacks. As for Kelly, he was the last pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. You’ve gotta love the preseason drama that a good old-fashioned quarterback conundrum can bring to a team. And you don’t have to squint to see the possibility of Kelly playing so well that Lynch becomes an afterthought in Denver. It’s all falling into place.
Kelly has NFL bloodlines as the nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. Off-the-field issues led Kelly to earn the Mr. Irrelevant mantra because of his draft status (as you could probably guess, the last pick in the draft isn’t often one who shines in the big leagues), but Kelly has worked his way up the depth chart to get behind 2017 Bears tormentor and ex-Vikings starting quarterback Case Keenum. Perhaps we’ll even see the first quarterback taken in the 2017 NFL Draft (Mitch Trubisky) go against the last one chosen (Kelly). OK, probably not. But it’s fun to dream, isn’t it?
It’s more likely that, as a second-stringer, Kelly will get a healthy chunk of playing time against the Bears on Saturday. And I suppose if Bears rookie linebacker Roquan Smith is going to get a chance to make his professional debut on Saturday, he’ll do so while getting some burn with the Bears’ second-team defense.