ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak says he has three quarterbacks he likes, three quarterbacks he believes are good enough to start.
Mark Sanchez's résumé includes seven NFL seasons with 72 regular-season starts and six in the playoffs. Paxton Lynch, drafted in the first round in May, is a prized rookie they hope is a franchise quarterback in waiting.
And then there's the third guy, sort of the middle-child quarterback, the guy nobody's really talking about outside of the walls of the Broncos' suburban Denver complex. The guy Kubiak says has "the pro arm" has been mentored by Peyton Manning and certainly knows the Broncos' offense as the team closes in on the end of its offseason program -- Trevor Siemian.
Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said: "Trevor has a maturity to him. He's kind of the sleeper, I would say. Of course Mark and Paxton are going to be the headlines, but Trevor knows the offense. He's very comfortable and can throw the ball, too. We've also seen him make big plays in the preseason games under the lights. I wouldn't sleep on Trevor to win the job."
Other Broncos, like linebacker Brandon Marshall and safety T.J. Ward, have echoed that thought. Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, who has missed the team's offseason work in search of long-term deal, has said, "Trevor, he can make any throw. We've seen it every day in practice."
So is Siemian just part of the annual happy talk during organized team activities, when players speak of being in the best shape of their lives and coaches never met a player they didn't like? Or is Siemian really in the mix to compete for the starting job? Siemian believes he is because the Broncos' decision-makers, most notably Kubiak and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, have told him so.
"He said it himself, it's light years from last year," Dennison said. "He knows where everybody is. He knows what he's supposed to do and he handles the huddle really well. He's done a good job of really developing and really paying close attention to the two guys last year that played quite a bit for us. He's done a good job of developing."
"Trevor has been around good players," Kubiak added. "He knows how to handle himself."
Siemian, who was selected by Denver in the seventh round of the 2015 draft, may have the strongest arm of the Broncos quarterbacks, and because he spent the Super Bowl season as the No. 3 quarterback -- and the backup to Brock Osweiler during Manning's recovery from a foot injury -- he has the most experience in the team's offense.
As Kubiak has tried to split the practice plays -- including time spent in the starting offense -- among the three quarterbacks, there are times when Siemian has been the most comfortable and proficient.
"Last year was a heck of a ride, and I wasn't looking too far ahead," Siemian said. "I had no clue what was going to happen. I was just kind of holding on to the seat of my pants last year and taking everything in.
"I think it's a little unique, definitely, compared to last year with [Manning and Osweiler]. ... I'm a year in, but there still is a lot to learn. I think I'm trying to do a good job of remembering that and just getting better every day."
Kubiak said this week he doesn't have a timeline to name a starter or to even set the depth chart. He wants the three quarterbacks to compete and one will eventually "step forward" in time for the team to prepare for the regular season.
And he has said, despite plenty of public opinion to the contrary, that Siemian could be that guy if he wins the job.
"We'll see," Kubiak said. "We'll see what happens."
"[The decision is] over my head," Siemian said. "I just take the reps I get and try to make the most of them. I've told you I feel pretty confident right now. I'm going to keep rolling with it. If they tell me to go with the ones ... I'm taking what I can get right now and trying to do my best."