Broncos GM Confirms Plan to Meet With Predicted 2024 Starting QB

George Paton, Denver Broncos

Getty General manager George Paton of the Denver Broncos.

If the Denver Broncos move on from Russell Wilson as many around the NFL expect, they could need to replace him with a new starter for 2024.  Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy is becoming an increasingly popular candidate.

Head Coach Sean Payton has touted four-year passer Jarrett Stidham. However, he has also spoken in terms of finding their next quarterback.

General Manager George Paton confirmed they will meet with McCarthy at the scouting combine.

“He’s a good player, just like seven or eight other of the quarterbacks,” Paton told reporters at the combine on February 27. “We’re still working through the process. Obviously, he’s a winner, he’s won a lot, he has talent. And so, [I] look forward to spending time with him, I think tonight.”

Payton is also rumored to be a big fan of McCarthy’s.

Payton notably said during Super Bowl week that he was looking to find a “perfect marriage” with a quarterback, just like every other position.

“There’s just a little bit of steam that’s beginning to emerge locally that Sean Payton loves J.J. McCarthy,” KFAN 1003’s Paul Allen, a long-time Vikings announcer said on “The Paul Allen Show” on February 20.

The 21-year-old McCarthy led Michigan to a National Championship this past season. He has been a popular target for the Broncos in mock drafts.

J.J. McCarthy, Denver Broncos

GettyJ.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines.

J.J. McCarthy Predicted to Open 2024 as Broncos’ Starting QB

ESPN’s Seth Walder predicts Wilson will replace Kirk Cousins for the Minnesota Vikings. He also predicts that McCarthy will be the Broncos’ starting quarterback in 2024. In Walder’s estimation, it will not require them to trade up as has been speculated.

“Even with Russell Wilson having $39 million guaranteed to him in 2024, it makes sense for Denver to cut him,” Walder wrote on February 27. “I have Denver choosing McCarthy (Michigan), though it’s a bit early to accurately decipher who could go where in the middle of the first round.”

Walder’s note about it being too early to know which quarterbacks will land fits with Payton’s assertion that they have only gotten deep into the draft process within the last week.

He also noted they would do a lot more work during the combine.

The Broncos get their first look at the quarterbacks in drills on Saturday, March 2. That is the same day as running backs and wide receivers. First up are the defensive linemen and linebackers on February 29, followed by the defensive backs and tight ends on March 1.

Offensive linemen are the final group, going through drills on Sunday, March 3. Perhaps more of Payton’s purported affinity for McCarthy emerges by then,

J.J. McCarthy Draws Drew Brees Comparison

Drew Brees, Sean Payton, Denver Broncos

GettyDrew Brees #9 and Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints.

“NFL evaluators have described McCarthy’s processing as “elite” in my conversations with them,”’s Lance Zierlein wrote on February 5, also mocking McCarthy to Denver at No. 12. “Drew Brees was a great processer, but he didn’t have the same athletic ability that McCarthy offers. This just feels like a Sean Payton pick.”

Brees won a Super Bowl and went to 12 Pro Bowls under Payton. He has described what the coach’s offense requires.

It is not the improvisation that Wilson provides.

“As I watched them play this year, it didn’t feel like the timing, the Rhythm, the tempo that I’m used to seeing in a Sean Payton offense,” Brees said on “Pro Football Talk” on February 8. “Those are the hallmarks of the offense. That’s the standard that has been set.”