In his first season as the Denver Broncos’ surprise starter at quarterback, 2015 seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian was considered a temporary solution at that position. The Broncos had just drafted the raw Paxton Lynch in the first round, and seventh-rounders aren’t meant to be long-term starters.

The numbers backed that up. Siemian was the league’s eighth-lowest rated passer while failing to get the Broncos to the playoffs in 2016. Pro Football Focus ranked him 30th among 34 qualified quarterbacks as he completed fewer than 60 percent of his passes.

But has Siemian turned a corner in his third year? The statistics support that, albeit in a small sample. The 25-year-old has increased that completion rate to 65.0, he’s thrown an NFL-high six touchdown passes to just two interceptions and only five qualified quarterbacks have higher passer ratings than his mark of 106.9.

The Broncos are 2-0, and Siemian is a big reason why. He’s been a tremendous asset, rather than simply than the small liability he was last season.

Siemian roasted the Chargers and Cowboys under pressure and against the blitz, which is particularly encouraging for a young seventh-round pick. Those aren’t terrible defenses, and the eyeball test indicates this start might not be a total fluke.

His teammates are buying in.

  • “Trev could be a star in this league,” said teammate Aqib Talib, per’s Dan Graziano. “If we do what we need to do on defense, Trev is going to be a star this year.”
  • “You see the progression every week,” added guard Ron Leary. “The men in this locker room, we always have faith in him, so it’s just everyone else now seeing it. We have all the faith in the world in Trevor.”
  • “I think Trevor Siemian is going to have a Pro Bowl year,” cornerback Chris Harris said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “He is playing at a high level.”

As are outsiders.

  • “I love the way he plays. I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves,” said CBS analyst Phil Simms, according to CBS4 in Denver. “He hangs in there, takes big hits, he throws the ball on time, he throws it with anticipation and he throws a perfect spiral almost every single throw. I wish everybody would get over the fact that he is their quarterback. And ‘oh he wasn’t a high draft pick,’ or ‘he’s not a franchise guy,’ well you know what? I think he really is.”
  • And Jon Heath at USA Today’s Broncos Wire is already ready to declare that “John Elway struck gold” with Siemian.

Would Siemian have been drafted higher if he didn’t suffer an injury during his final year at Northwestern? It’s encouraging that he’s had the look of a franchise quarterback thus far, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that he learned from one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time during his rookie season.

He’s healthy now after playing through multiple injuries during his first season in that role, and I love the fact he’s 14-for-20 with a 113.1 passer rating on third-down plays. But we’re still looking at a small sample.

Without left tackle Garett Bolles (injured leg), Siemian is entering a stretch in which he’ll face several of the league’s fiercest defenses (Bills, Raiders, Giants, Chiefs, Eagles and Patriots between now and Week 10). If he can continue to consistently deliver accurate passes while showing off veteran poise over the course of that run, the Broncos just might have a new franchise quarterback on their hands.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at, Deadspin,, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.