Heisman Contender Mocked to Broncos to Lead Sean Payton’s Offense

Sean Payton

Getty Broncos head coach Sean Payton watches game action against the Bears during Week 5 of the 2023 NFL season.

The Denver Broncos have a bleak outlook as they sit at 1-5 and last place in the AFC West. With little hope of making an unexpected playoff run, Denver should be looking ahead to the 2024 NFL Draft.

Quarterback Russell Wilson has an uncertain future under head coach Sean Payton. One draft analyst has the Broncos replacing Wilson by selecting a quarterback in the first round of next year’s draft.

In his October 21 mock draft, Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network had Denver drafting USC quarterback Caleb Williams.

“Are you truly going to win anything with Wilson in the next three years, especially with the way the roster looks? The answer is most likely no. And that’s why, if the Broncos have a chance to pick Caleb Williams, they have to take it and reset the clock, even with the contract cost that comes with that decision.”

Williams went to Denver after the Chicago Bears drafted Drake Maye and Marvin Harrison Jr. with the top two picks.

Per FOX Sports, Williams has the seventh-best odds of winning the Heisman Trophy. He is attempting to become the first back-to-back winner since Archie Griffin from 1974-75.

Entering USC’s Week 8 matchup with Utah, Williams has completed 70 percent of his passes for 2,021 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Williams won the Heisman Trophy in 2022 after throwing 42 touchdowns as he led USC to the Pac-12 Championship.

Broncos Ranked as Worst Long-Term Situation in the NFL

If the Broncos select a quarterback in next year’s draft, that player is not entering an ideal situation.

Denver was ranked as the worst long-term situation of any NFL team, according to Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports. In an October 21 story looking at teams with a bleak future, Kerr was pessimistic about the Broncos.

“This is a bad football team that needs a lot of work on both sides of the ball,” Kerr wrote. “The Broncos say they are not shopping players, but they may have to with just six picks in 2024 (one first, one third, one fourth, two fifths and a sixth). The cupboard has to be restocked, especially since Denver is sitting at $10,095,882 over the cap this offseason.”

The Broncos have missed the playoffs every year since winning the 2016 Super Bowl. Given their poor start, Denver is well on their way toward missing the postseason for an eighth-consecutive season.

Kerr emphasizes that the Broncos are “a bad football team” and an “organizational mess.”

“Wilson is fixed, but Payton has a lot of work to do. By the time Payton fixes things, how old will Wilson be and will he even be around? ”

Rookie or not, this is not an organization where any player could thrive.

Payton Anxious for Broncos’ First Home Win: ‘It’s Time’

The Broncos have played three home games in 2023 and lost them all. Could their upcoming matchup in Week 7 change their fortunes at home?

Payton wants Denver to end their winless streak against the Green Bay Packers.

“I just told them I am tired of sitting at the podium and talking to you guys about not playing well at home,” Payton told reporters on October 20. “Yeah, it’s time. We have a good home-field [advantage]. We have a great tradition at home, crowd noise, and all those things that can help us. We need to take advantage of it.”

Since the start of the 2022 season, the Broncos have a 4-7 record at home.

Payton wants his team to “be smart” and “take advantage of the noise” when playing Green Bay.

“Now, this crew that’s officiating this weekend — of 17, they are second in fouls called at the line of scrimmage. I could go on and on. We have to be smart at the line of scrimmage and take advantage of the noise.”

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