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Drew Lock? Dwayne Haskins? Broncos so badly want quarterback it could lead to bad mistake.

As Tom Brady prepares take the field as a starter in the Super Bowl for his ninth time as New England’s quarterback, John Elway searches for his eighth starting quarterback since taking over as the Broncos general manager in 2011.

When I asked Elway at his season-ending news conference where the team’s search for a quarterback stood, he replied: “I’m going to go and shake some trees out there for a quarterback and see if one falls out.”

While shaking the trees this week at the Senior Bowl, it’s more likely an acorn will fall on Elway’s head than a franchise quarterback will drop in the Broncos’ lap.

So let me be the bearer of bad news neither Elway nor Broncos Country wants to hear: Finding a new quarterback should not be Denver’s top priority in 2019.

This is a lousy year for a team to be in the market for a signal-caller, whether shopping the NFL retread bin or evaluating draft prospects.

Nick Foles? Too expensive. Teddy Bridgewater? Broken. Joe Flacco? Please stop.

While raw rookies Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Kyler Murray might all prove to be a better option than Broncos incumbent Case Keenum, that’s not saying much. None of the quarterbacks available in the draft is worth taking by Denver with the 10th pick in the opening round, much less worth the cost of trading up to obtain.

Let’s start with Lock, because the University of Missouri prospect is working under Broncos staffers’ watchful eyes at the Senior Bowl and has been the subject of wishful thinking in these parts since Elway traveled in November to watch him play against Arkansas.

Here’s what Elway saw: Lock completed 16-of-25 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns, while running for two more scores in a 38-0 rout over the Razorbacks. Not bad.

But also consider: Elway could’ve drive up Interstate 25 in September and watched Colorado State quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels complete 32-of-47 passes for 389 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams’ 34-27 victory against those same hapless Razorbacks.

In other words: Although a good dude, he’s no Lock to be an NFL franchise quarterback. My suggestion on what Elway should do after evaluating Lock? Hard pass. Lock is probably not the answer in Denver for the next 10 years, so why reach with a draft choice based on need?

Haskins merits a first-round grade, despite being the starter for only a single season at Ohio State. But which quarterbacks who received their football education from Urban Meyer have enjoyed the most success at the pro level? Alex Smith and — wait for it — Tim Tebow. Thanks, but no thanks.

Murray, the Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma, is the most electrifying quarterback in this draft. While many scouts harp on his lack of height, my concern is a frame so slight he could be snapped in two the first time Murray is sacked by J.J. Watt. I would, however, gladly roll the dice on Murray … in the second or third round, long after a quarterback-desperate team is likely to grab him.

If Keenum returns as the Denver’s starting quarterback, there will be howls of protest in the South Stands. But I suggest the Broncos go shopping for a bargain, whether it’s obtaining Nick Mullens from the San Francisco 49ers or a drafting less-ballyhooed prospect in the middle rounds.

The Broncos hired 60-year-old Vic Fangio to win now — and win now with defense. Every team, whether the New York Giants or the Jacksonville Jaguars, that picks ahead of Denver and reaches for a quarterback pushes a quality player to Fangio. Isn’t that how Bradley Chubb unexpectedly fell to the Broncos last year?

In the 2019 draft, Denver needs its first-round pick to make an immediate impact this season and the Pro Bowl in future seasons. I don’t know if that leads the Broncos to LSU linebacker Devin White or Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen.

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