Broncos’ 2024 Draft Class Receives Unflattering Ranking by National Outlet

Bo Nix and Troy Franklin

Getty New Broncos QB Bo Nix and WR Troy Franklin shown during a 2023 game at Oregon.

The Denver Broncos desperately needed a transformative draft class to boost the franchise back to relevance.

Head coach Sean Payton went for experience with his second draft in the Mile High City. His selections failed to impress Dane Brugler of The Athletic, who ranked the Broncos 31st out of 32 teams in his team-by-team 2024 NFL draft rankings.

The analyst seemingly docked Denver for its Bo Nix pick and ranked the team just ahead of the Atlanta Falcons. However, Brugler was not completely negative, listing the Jonah Elliss selection as his favorite Broncos pick.

“The Broncos have a glut of pass rushers in their rotation, but Elliss makes the unit even stronger,” Brugler wrote in his April 29 column. “Although he was a little ‘out of sight, out of mind’ this process after undergoing shoulder surgery in the fall, he is a disruptive presence with upfield explosion and violent hands.”

Elliss, an EDGE rusher from Utah, was a third-round selection (No. 76 overall). Brugler also named wide receiver Troy Franklin as a Day 3 pick that could surprise.

“Although I wasn’t a fan of what the Broncos did in the first round, reuniting Franklin with his college quarterback is smart drafting. Franklin, who has inconsistencies in his game, was overrated by many throughout the process, but there’s a good chance he winds up looking like a steal. He has legit speed before and after the catch and can make an immediate impact as a rookie,” Brugler wrote.

The Broncos will have plenty of time to prove Brugler wrong with the 2024 campaign in sight.

NFL Writer: Nix Selection Was a ‘Head-Scratcher’ for the Broncos

The Nix selection will divide league analysts and scouts until the Oregon product makes his NFL debut.

Charles McDonald of Yahoo Sports gave the Broncos’ draft class a “D” with Nix bringing down the team’s grade. McDonald felt the Nix pick was a “head-scratcher” and marked a “strange start for the Broncos as they kick off their rebuild.”

“Nix is an NFL-quality quarterback without a doubt, and probably the best option on the Broncos’ roster. That didn’t mean the Broncos had to spend their first pick on him,” McDonald wrote on April 28 before adding:

“Perhaps head coach Sean Payton thinks he’ll build a quick passing game around Nix. He remains a questionable pick so early in the draft.”

Payton spent a first-rounder on Nix for a reason so perhaps the veteran coach knows best.

Broncos GM George Paton on Nix: ‘He’ll Be More Game-Ready’ Than Younger QB

Nix was the oldest first-round quarterback of the six signal callers taken on Day 1. Paton believes his collegiate experience will pay off in Denver.

The Broncos’ general manager told Mike Klis of 9NEWS Denver that Nix would “be more game-ready” than a younger option starting under center.

“You look at it, it’s hard because this is new but 24 years old is not that old for football,” Paton told Klis in an April 28 sit-down interview. “You evaluate it but you’re really evaluating the player, you’re evaluating the person. Evaluate how they fit in with the organization, especially for a quarterback.”

Age was also a factor for top 10 picks including Michael Penix Jr. and Jayden Daniels. According to Klis, those two players and Nix played at least five college seasons with two different schools.

Time will tell whether that experience will help or hinder all three in the NFL.