Proposed Trade Sees Broncos Moving Down in Draft to Secure Franchise QB

Sean Payton and George Paton

Getty The Broncos land a franchise QB in a new 2024 mock draft.

For now, Jarrett Stidham appears on track to becoming the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos next season.

The Broncos could go in any direction with the No. 12 pick. One draft expert anticipates Denver will move down in the first round to secure a franchise quarterback for head coach Sean Payton.

A.J. Schulte of Pro Football Network has Denver trading down to No. 20 to select Oregon star Bo Nix.

“The Broncos have been signaling they want to move down from 12 and pick up more draft capital in the future, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to move back twice come April,” Schulte wrote in his March 23 mock draft. “Bo Nix fits Sean Payton’s archetype at QB, but 12 was simply too early for him. They reach for him here because he won’t be available by their next pick, securing their potential face of the franchise.”

Schulte’s hypothetical trade for the Broncos was with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who picked Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims at No. 12.

Broncos get:

– 2024 first-round pick (No. 20 overall)

– 2024 third-round pick (No. 84 overall)

Steelers get:

– 2024 first-round pick (No. 12 overall)

Nix has been trending to the Broncos for much of the offseason. Denver sent multiple representatives to watch Nix participate in Oregon’s Pro Day on March 12, per Andrew Mason of Denver Sports.

Bo Nix Mocked Again to Broncos in a New Mini-Mock Draft

Perhaps fate is pushing Nix to the Broncos in the 2024 NFL draft. The team has been desperate to fill a need under center since Hall of Famer Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset.

ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid had Denver selecting Nix at No. 12 in a mini-mock draft with colleagues Field Yates and Matt Miller.

“Is this too early for Nix? Based on rankings, yes,” Reid wrote in the March 23 article. “But the Broncos are desperate for a signal-caller, and Nix’s accuracy and timing are a fit for Sean Payton’s offense.”

Reid is hardly the only ESPN draft analyst to mock Nix to the Broncos. NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. had Denver taking the Ducks star in his March 19 mock draft.

Nix might be Payton’s best option, given the possibility of four quarterbacks being chosen in the top 10 picks.

Is ‘Building the Nest’ for a Future QB the Best Option for Denver?

Despite the Broncos’ need for a quarterback, Schulte and Reid believe Nix going to Denver at No. 12 would be too early.

If Payton cannot get his QB of the future in this draft, trading down could be the best option. Dylan Von Arx of Mile High Huddle believes that “building the nest” might be in the Broncos’ best interest.

“Trading down also makes sense in terms of building a competitive roster to plug in a rookie quarterback,” Von Arx wrote on March 18. “If Denver can’t find a way to select a first-round quarterback, then it should trade down and acquire draft capital for this year.”

Von Arx cited the Kansas City Chiefs as an example as it had a playoff roster before Patrick Mahomes arrived. Mahomes instantly made the Chiefs a Super Bowl contender by the time he was named the full-time starter.

The Broncos are at an “interesting crossroads regarding their draft position,” as Von Arx observed. The future is indeed in Payton’s hands as Denver heads into a potentially franchise-altering draft.