It’s coming folks. We’re now under two weeks away from the NFL Draft, and with that comes the annual onslaught of posturing and hyperbole. It’s great. So come with us, and let’s drown in rumors together every day.

Peyton Manning participated in his first organized team activity with the Broncos yesterday, and the buzz in Denver is palpable. All eyes are on Manning’s health - four neck surgeries tend to do that.

A month ago we looked at the production of quarterbacks similar to Manning at the age of 36. For most of the veteran QB’s comparable to Manning, their age 36 season saw a considerable drop off from the year before. Aside from Johnny Unitas, those players weren’t recovering from serious injuries either.

Point is, who knows how long Manning will last in Denver. His $96 million contract over five years is a lot of money, but the deal allows the Broncos to walk away if the first year goes awry. Elway and company have jettisoned last year’s quarterbacks in rapid fashion, and insurance behind Manning on the depth chart is needed. Does Caleb Hanie scream ‘quarterback of the future’ to you? Good, you’re not insane.

It makes sense for Denver to take a developmental quarterback  next week. Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post outlines who the Broncos have looked at thus far:

They like Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden, who quarterbacked the Cowboys to the Big 12 Conference championship last year. But the former minor-league baseball player turns 29 in October.Manning has a five-year contract, so Weeden no longer fits the Denver profile of developmental prospect. Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler is still under consideration. The Broncos came away from a recent workout feeling better about Osweiler’s passing mechanics. And they plan to bring in Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson for a predraft visit.

Don’t be surprised if Brandon Weeden is the choice. The Broncos have built a roster to contend immediately. If Manning isn’t able to play beyond 2012, inserting a 30-year-old quarterback into Denver’s ‘win now’ lineup wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

Then again, Elway refuses to take my calls. Win two super bowls and suddenly you’re too good to take calls from strangers. Whatever, man.

Hold on, here comes more smoke…

  • Courtney Upshaw likes Dallas, and Dallas likes him. [ESPN Dallas]
  • Matt Kalil’s bloodlines, quick feet, and work ethic set him apart from the other tackles in this year’s class. [CBS Sports]
  • ESPN’s Kevin Weidl is hearing Boston College LB Luke Kuechly could go in the top 10. [Twitter]
  • In related news, Luke Kuechly is not attending the draft. Hmmm… [Sports Xchange]
  • Kansas City has ‘spent significant time’ investigating Ryan Tannehill. [Kansas City Star]
  • How high will the Chiefs have to move up if they want  Tannehill? [ESPN]
  • John Harris believes taking a Safety early is the key for the Steelers draft. [Pittsburgh Live]
  • Mel Kiper Jr. agrees with us. Much like Christian Ponder last year, Tannehill will be taken too high. [Star Tribune]
  • Packer Report reports what we’ve previously heard: no one will take Janoris Jenkins in the first round. [Twitter]
  • The Ravens need a Center with Matt Birk nearing the end of his career. Wisconsin’s Peter Konz is an option. [CSN Washington]