Denver Broncos Rumors: Peyton Manning Retirement Forces Bryce Petty, Garrett Grayson Draft Interest as Demaryius Thomas Holdout Helps Cody Latimer, Virgil Green

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Apr 28, 2015 12:44 PM EDT
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Peyton Manning
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning leads the offense during a 2014 home game."

The Denver Broncos are aware the Peyton Manning era will not last forever. While the quarterback is set to return for the 2015 season and plans on being fully healthy, there are no guarantees as to what his future truly looks like. Most agree Manning has taken a small step backwards and preparation for the quarterback's last few years, the Broncos are eyeing potential replacements in this year's draft class.

According to Denver Broncos' reporter Mike Klis of KUSA 9 News, the Broncos will draft a quarterback this year and it could be done as high as the second round. The report of another quarterback comes after the Broncos had expressed confidence in the future of Brock Osweiler and his ability to play more of a role in 2015. Osweiler was drafted back in the second round of 2012, but has barely been seen with Manning on the field.

"I do have confidence that Brock can step in," Elway said, via the Denver Post. "You never know. This is a big game. It's a tough game. And the one thing that Brock has been lacking in the last three years is the fact that he hasn't gotten a lot of playing time. So I'm confident he can do it, but you know what? The bottom line is he's going to answer that question when the light comes on."

Apparently that was not enough of a ringing endorsement to cause the Broncos to not eye options this year. Manning is 39 and the idea that he will retire sooner rather than later is becoming a real possibility. Denver is anxious to get quarterbacks on the roster that they can develop for the future. While this year's class is not considered as strong as last year's, there is quality talent in later rounds.

The Broncos have options if they do not want to draft someone early. Brett Hundly, Bryce Petty and Garrett Grayson are considered the best available quarterbacks behind Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. All three could not be drafted until the third round, giving Denver flexibility.

The Broncos are also reportedly in the mix for a wide receiver according to the Denver Post. At the moment Demaryius Thomas is holding out of practice and Cody Latimer is struggling to step up. That is paired with the departures of Wes Welker and Julius Thomas. The Broncos need some depth. DeVante Parker, Jaelen Strong, Chris Conley and Devin Smith are all solid late-round options for the Broncos to consider. 

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