The Denver Broncos won't have a definitive answer at quarterback in 2016 after losing Brock Osweiler to the Texans and then striking out in acquiring a replacement for Peyton Manning this summer. But could the defending champs' first-round pick be the long-term answer?

Broncos rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch is already showing encouraging signs, something Denver desperately needs having only Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian as the other options under center.

"No. 12 is really, really stepping up," Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak said Monday. "He's making some progress here."

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The Broncos will need that and more from Lynch, who might get some extended playing out of necessity time his rookie year. Sanchez hasn't started at least 15 games since 2012 with the Jets and former seventh-round pick Siemian hasn't attempted an NFL pass.

The Broncos traded up to No. 26 in this year's draft to select the former Memphis quarterback, hoping the 6-7 prospect could one day be the permanent answer. That day might come sooner than most expected if Denver doesn't see enough improvement from either Sanchez or Siemian.