Three years after the Broncos selected him in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, quarterback Brock Osweiler will finally make his first career start Sunday. Osweiler has sat behind the now-injured Peyton Manning as QBs who were taken after him have garnered far more playing time. Seattle’s Russell Wilson, chosen 18 picks after Osweiler, is already a Super Bowl winner and one of the most decorated signal callers in the league. Kirk Cousins – who went 31 choices behind Osweiler – is doing a fine job in his first season as Washington’s starter. On the other hand, Nick Foles (45 picks after Osweiler) has cooled off significantly since a red-hot 2013 and is currently riding the bench in St. Louis.
The Broncos opted for Osweiler with the 57th pick in 2012 rather than someone like Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David – who went 58th – for multiple reasons, according to Albert Breer of NFL.com: 1. General manager John Elway liked Osweiler’s size (6-foot-8, 240 pounds), especially compared to the diminutive Wilson’s (5-11, 206). 2. Manning came to the Broncos that year off a major neck injury, so Denver wanted to make sure it could find an insurance policy as early as possible in the draft. In Elway’s opinion at the time, Osweiler was the best fit. We’ll begin finding out whether he can be the answer for 7-2 Denver when its struggling offense goes on the road Sunday to face 4-5 Chicago.
Here are some more QB notes from around the league:
- Buccaneers rookie Jameis Winston has notified CNN that he could sue the network if it goes through with its Sunday plan to broadcast “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary about college campus rape, according to ESPN. The documentary centers on Winston’s rape investigation from his time at Florida State and includes the first public interview with his accuser, Erica Kinsman. “We urge CNN to reconsider the reckless decision to proceed with the broadcast of this deeply-flawed documentary in the face of the overwhelming evidence the film’s producers consciously and intentionally failed to adhere to any accepted journalistic standards,” Winston’s lawyer wrote in a letter to CNN.
- The Browns decided earlier this week that second-year man Johnny Manziel, not veteran Josh McCown, will start the rest of the season under center. Head coach Mike Pettine was committed to McCown earlier this season, but Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer opines that he made the choice because it’s time to truly see what Manziel can do. At 2-8, the Browns need to find out whether Manziel, a first-rounder in 2013, can be the answer going forward. If not, they might need to spend another top pick on a QB in next year’s draft. If the draft were today, they’d pick No. 1, which has often been a prime spot to land a franchise passer. Manziel has acquitted himself well statistically this season, especially in a 372-yard effort in a loss to Pittsburgh last Sunday, and will obviously need to continue doing so in order to convince the Browns to use their first-rounder on another position.
- After the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick landed on season-ending injured reserve with a torn left labrum earlier Saturday, his brother tweeted that he played four and a half games with the injury. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora subsequently deduced that Kaepernick sustained the injury during a Week 4 loss to Green Bay. The 49ers are now acknowledging that they did examine Kaepernick’s shoulder after the Packers game, though they concluded at the time that he didn’t suffer a significant injury (Twitter link via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee).