Trevor Siemian has officially been named the Week 1 starter by Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak.
Siemian has come a long way since his time at Northwestern, where he was plagued by injuries and shared quarterback duty with Kain Colter for most of his career. A lot of people were surprised when his name was chosen on the final day of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. It appears that Denver GM John Elway knew what he was doing when he selected Siemian in the 7th round with the 250th pick.
Last season, Siemian spent the year learning the ropes from Peyton Manning and patiently waiting his turn while the highly-touted Brock Osweiler took 2nd team reps.
Now, almost everything has fallen into place for Siemian. Manning retired, Osweiler took a big deal from the Houston Texans, and the Broncos brought in former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and rookie Paxton Lynch to challenge for the starting job.
To begin the preseason, Kubiak labeled Sanchez as 1a. and Siemian as 1b. Following an impressive performance in the first preseason game, Siemian earned the starting nod for the second preseason game. He didn’t look back, showing why he deserved to be the starter in a solid Week 3 showing, when he also started and threw his first touchdown of the preseason.
“Touchdown Trevor,” as we call him, is far from the only late-round quarterback to start Week 1 of the NFL season. To name a few, Marc Bulger was a 6th round selection in 2000, Matt Hasselbeck was a 6th rounder in 1998, Ryan Fitzpatrick went in the 7th round in 2005 (250th overall coincidentally), and of course, as we hinted at when Siemian was drafted, 6th rounder and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.
Siemian is, however, the first quarterback to start the season for a defending Super Bowl championship to never attempt a regular season pass. He did have a well-documented kneel down last season. Perhaps just as impressive is that he’s the first Northwestern quarterback to start an opener since the legendary Otto Graham in 1955. He’ll be the first Northwestern quarterback to start in an NFL game since Randy Dean in 1979.
To say Siemian didn’t show flashes of brilliance at Northwestern would be a lie. He has had some spectacular moments. The game winning drive against Syracuse in 2012, the Gator Bowl victory over Mississippi State, the entire game against Cal in 2013, and the Notre Dame upset his senior season were all NFL-caliber performances. Ankle injuries and the two-quarterback system hampered Siemian’s true potential, which is very high in the eyes of head coach Gary Kubiak.
We’re excited to watch Siemian on Sundays. He looks very comfortable in the Denver offense and with weapons on the edges like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, Touchdown Trevor could live up to the nickname we have given him. His first challenge will be Week 1 against the vaunted Carolina Panthers defense led by linebacker Luke Kuechly, in a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl.
The last time Siemian saw Kuechly, he watched from the sidelines as Northwestern beat Boston College 24-17.
Now it’s Trevor’s time.