TV Host Sounds Alarm on Broncos After Vikings’ Draft-Related Trade

Getty Denver Broncos general manager George Paton

With the 2024 NFL draft a month away, the Denver Broncos’ quarterback plan remains a mystery. Their non-activity prompted “Good Morning Football” host Peter Schrager to beg for a concrete action plan after Russell Wilson’s release in March.

“The Broncos do nothing in free agency, and then Sean Payton, the quarterback guru, is gonna sit on his hands as Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and the [Minnesota] Vikings move up ahead of everybody to go get J.J. McCarthy,” Schrager said on GMFB’s March 19 episode. “If this is a warning, or if this is a signal to the market, Sean Payton, George Paton, you’d best be ready to get moving.”

Schrager shared his thoughts while reviewing NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft 3.0, published earlier that day.

Jeremiah has the Minnesota Vikings moving up in the draft via trade to the No. 4 spot, taking McCarthy, who won a CFP National Championship with the Michigan Wolverines. “Now the fun really begins. After their recent trade with the [Houston] Texans, it seems the Vikings are situated to aggressively move up to draft Kirk Cousins’ replacement,” he wrote.

Three days before Schrager’s comments and Jeremiah’s mock draft, the Vikings completed a trade for the Texans’ first-round (No. 23 overall) and seventh-round (No. 232 overall) selections. In return, Houston received Minnesota’s 2024 second-round (No. 42 overall) and sixth-round (No. 188 overall) picks, as well as a 2025 second-rounder.

With two first-round picks, the Vikings have the draft capital to address more roster holes or move up the board to land one of the top quarterback prospects. Hence, Jeremiah predicted the Vikings to trade with the Arizona Cardinals for the fourth overall selection, giving the Cards their pick at No. 11.

Broncos Have a ‘Realistic’ Chance of Trading Up With Cardinals

GettyArizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort.

Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort announced during a March 20 press conference that the team would consider trade offers for the No. 4 pick.

“I think we’ll always have the conversation,” he said. “We may not get to a point where a deal makes sense, whether it’s at [No.] 4 or anywhere we’re picking, but we’re always going to have the conversation. And if it makes sense if it’s attractive to building our team, then it’s something that we’ll certainly consider no matter where we’re at in the draft.”

On March 25, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport asked Broncos head coach Sean Payton whether it was realistic for them to trade up.

“Realistic. … It’s good to be Monti [Ossenfort] right now,” Payton answered, hinting at which draft pick they might target.

But unlike the Vikings, the Broncos have one first-rounder (No. 12 overall) and no second-round picks because of the January 2023 trade that brought Payton to Denver from the New Orleans Saints.

Yet it’s unclear who they would select if the Broncos pulled off a trade for the No. 4 pick. However, Payton might have hinted at a lead when he revealed his private session with McCarthy.

“I wasn’t at J.J.’s pro day, but we had a private the next day, where we sent him a bunch of information, spent four or five hours with him, and made him throw all over again,” Payton told reporters on March 25, according to Denver Sports’ Andrew Mason.

Schrager Reminds Payton Not to Repeat the Same Mistake He Committed 7 Years Ago

GettyDenver Broncos head coach Sean Payton

In closing his argument, Schrager shared a missed opportunity for Payton during the 2017 NFL draft.

“Sean Payton was set to pick Patrick Mahomes at the 11th pick of that draft. He was all set on it. He even started telling Drew Brees this might happen, and Andy Reid jumped ahead of him and took Patrick Mahomes. They took Marshon Lattimore; it all works out. But, don’t let that happen again,” Schrager said.

The Kansas City Chiefs traded with the Buffalo Bills for the No. 10 pick before the Saints went on the clock.

While Lattimore became a four-time Pro Bowl cornerback, his achievements pale compared to Mahomes’ three Super Bowl titles, three Super Bowl MVPs and two league MVP awards.

That scenario prompted Schrager to urge the Broncos to become aggressive in finding their next franchise quarterback.

“You don’t want to miss out on this quarterback class, and if you’re sitting at 12, and you’re the franchise that’s had all the names at the back of that quarterback jersey crossed off year after year after year and it’s [Brock] Osweiler, and it’s Brett Rypien, and it’s [Joe] Flacco, and it’s on and on and on, don’t miss out on this draft class.”

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