Broncos Urged to Join ‘Bandwagon’ for Record-Setting Russell Wilson Replacement

Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

Getty Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos.

This past season went awry early for the Denver Broncos, who stumbled to a 1-5 record out of the gate. They rebounded to go 7-4 the rest of the way, including 6-3 with Russell Wilson under center.

Even that ended with a 1-3, though, and Wilson’s future in Denver appears bleak. They have two other quarterbacks also under contract next season. But they could plan for the future.

One writer believes that should include Orgeon’s Bo Nix.

“Bo knows football. Bo throws footballs. The Broncos must board the Bo bandwagon,” Denver Gazette columnist Woody Paige wrote on January 20. “No matter who … will be the 2024 season’s starting quarterback – Jarrett Stidham, Russell Wilson, Ben DiNucci or a risky veteran from parts unknown – is it possible that Denver picks Nix for next?”

Nix is a fifth-year senior who spent three years at Auburn before transferring to Oregon for his final two seasons.

At Oregon, he set the school’s single-season record for passing touchdowns.

He completed 77.4% of his passes for 4,508 yards, 45 touchdowns, and three picks in 2023.

Nix guided the Ducks to a berth in this year’s College Football Playoffs and a blowout win over Liberty in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Day. He offers plenty of experience, with 1,936 passes in his collegiate career.

“Not only could the Broncos trade down and draft Bo Nix late in the first round, but they also would get a selection in the second round … and a second fifth-round choice,” Paige wrote.

Paige also points to a potential apt comparison.

Bo Nix Draws Comparison to Former Sean Payton QB, Drew Brees

Drew Brees, Sean Payton, Denver Broncos

GettyHead coach Sean Payton and Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints.

“At least three mock drafts have connected Nix with the Broncos, and Pro Football Focus stated them as a perfect pair. Former Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt, the top college analyst on Fox Sports, told a Denver sports radio show he compares Bo Nix to Drew Brees.”

Like Nix, Brees was the Offensive Player of the Year in his conference in his final season. Unlike Nix, it was Brees’ second such honor.

More important, though, is the obvious connection to Broncos head coach Sean Payton.

Brees and Payton went to the postseason nine times in 15 seasons together with the New Orleans Saints, even winning Super Bowl XLIV. Nix was a more productive player in the extended portion of his collegiate career.

Expecting Nix to step in and perform like Brees is a lot of pressure. But if Payton sees the same traits as Klatt and Paige, Nix could still be the answer.

Broncos Draft Needs Should Include Quarterback, With or Without Russell Wilson

Bo Nix, Denver Broncos

GettyQuarterback Bo Nix #10 of the Oregon Ducks.

The Broncos have several contributors hitting free agency this offseason, including starting center Lloyd Cushenberry and inside linebacker Josey Jewell. But, even if Wilson is back next season, he will turn 36 years old in late November.

Stidham didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard in his two starts, completing 60% of his passes for 496 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also absorbed seven sacks.

DiNucci’s last action came in 2020 with the Dallas Cowboys.

The Broncos are also $25.3 million over the salary cap, per Spotrac, meaning they will have to take some level of cost-cutting measures. Adding one of the class’ top quarterback prospects on a rookie contract could be one of them.