Insider: Broncos ‘Quietly Did a Lot of Work’ on Top-6 QB Prospect

George Paton, Denver Broncos

Getty General Manager George Paton of the Denver Broncos.

The Denver Broncos are covering their bases in search of a long-term solution at QB.

They have shown an interest in Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, with former Bronco Peyton Manning stamping that assertion during a recent radio appearance.

But the Broncos are not stopping there, which is wise given they currently pick No. 12 overall and lack a second-round pick. They are seemingly just outside the range to land one of the top-tier prospects, and they could just miss out on the next group.

That hasn’t stopped them from exploring the latter group just as they have the former.

“The Broncos quietly did a lot of work on Oregon QB Bo Nix—they had an hour-long Zoom with him on March 7, then sent a Sean Payton-led contingent to Eugene to work him out on March 18, per sources,” Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported on X on April 23. “So interest is there. Fit, too. But not having a 2nd-rounder could complicate it.”

Denver traded their second-round pick to the New Orleans Saints for Payton last offseason. They only have one other selection in the top 100.

That is in the third round with the No. 76 overall pick.

The Broncos traded for a QB, landing Zach Wilson from the New York Jets and weakening the overall value of their current cache of draft picks. But they removed the immediate need of having to force the pick at what is still a premium position in the first round of the draft.

Still, Wilson’s addition is not expected to curtail the Broncos’ efforts to secure a quarterback in the draft if the opportunity arises.

Bo Nix Fits Bill for Broncos QB Under Sean Payton

Bo Nix, Denver Broncos

GettyQuarterback Bo Nix #10 of the Oregon Ducks.

It could take some maneuvering for it to make sense for the Broncos to select Nix. But he has expressed an interest in playing for the Broncos.

“I think that’d be a blast playing for a coach like that who’s been so important for the game, so important for the offensive game, and has made such an impact on the game in general and with the quarterbacks he coached,” Nix said on “RG3 and The Ones” on April 4

Nix set an FBS record at Oregon last season, completing 77.4% of his passes last season.

He also sees some similarities with the Broncos’ offense under Payton. Former Saints Drew Brees has spoken of how critical rhythm and timing are to Payton’s system.

“When you watch old cut-ups and when you watch what they did with that system, it was quick game, get the ball out, timing stuff that I love to do,” Nix said. “That’s what we did so great here at Oregon, I believe. We just took what the defense gave us and it opened up a lot of our offensive plan.”

Nix’s tenure at Auburn has left some doubt about his true ability. But he also has his fair share of supporters as the most experienced of the quarterback prospects in this class with the most starts in NCAA history.

Broncos Projected to Select Dallas Turner in 2024 Draft

Dallas Turner, Denver Broncos

GettyDallas Turner #15 of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

ESPN’s Jeff Legwold passed on taking a quarterback with the No. 12 pick in a collaborative mock draft, citing the opportunity cost as a key reason behind his decision.

“General manager George Paton said last week the Broncos “have to hit” on this pick with an impact player,” Legwold wrote on April 23. “Despite their glaring need at quarterback, the fifth QB on the board in this spot might not bring that impact. If they don’t trade down in this scenario, the best player available is either [Dallas] Turner or Florida State defensive end Jared Verse. Turner, who should be an immediate contributor, gets the nod.”

Turner recorded 10.0 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss last season.

The Broncos saw Nik Bonitto and Jonathon Cooper have career years as pass rushers. But they still finished with the ninth-fewest sacks as a team last season. Turner could juice up their attack from Day 1, though using this pick could jeopardize the Broncos’ pursuit of a QB.