Denver Broncos Settle For 6th QB of NFL Draft’s First Round

The Denver Broncos took Bo Nix with the 12th pick of the first round in the NFL Draft.

After all the talk about the Denver Broncos moving up from their No. 12 slot at the NFL Draft in order to take one of the top quarterbacks available, the team ended up staying put, crossed their fingers, and perhaps took a reach on the last signal caller deemed worthy of going in the first round.

Time will tell, but for now it appears that the Denver Broncos settled on the sixth-ranked quarterback available in the draft, Bo Nix of the Oregon Ducks.

There was much speculation about all the wheeling and dealing that would be done at the top of the draft board. However, no pick swaps actually occurred until the Minnesota Vikings, who were initially picking one spot ahead of the Denver Broncos, flip-flopped their No. 11 for the No. 10 selection of the New York Jets to take J.J. McCarthy of the Michigan Wolverines.

Denver Broncos Settle on Bo Nix

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Nix left Oregon as the most experienced quarterback in college football history after making 61 starts for both Auburn and the Ducks. Nix finished third in the 2023 Heisman Trophy voting after passing for 4,508 yards and 45 touchdowns against just three interceptions.

Nix was among the student-athletes offered an additional year of eligibility due to the truncated COVID-19 2020 season, and he took full advantage of his second senior season. His 2023 numbers far surpassed his 2022 stats, throwing for 16 more touchdowns, nearly 1,000 more yards, and four fewer interceptions.

In spite of this, he was far from regarded as one of the available signal callers available in the first round. After the top three of Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, and Drake Maye went 1-2-3, McCarthy was generally seen as the fourth-ranked available QB, with Washington’s Michael Penix and Nix battling it out for the No. 5 ranking.

Denver Broncos Stood Pat as Top-Ranked Quarterbacks Flew Off The Board

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After the abject failure of the Russell Wilson era, the Denver Broncos were heavily rumored to be looking for a quarterback. However, after acquiring Zach Wilson from the Jets, the team may have decided that the asking price was too high to move into the top three spots. A fourth quarterback came off the board in the top 10, but it wasn’t the one that most figured it would be.

The Atlanta Falcons, who just signed Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million contract (with $100 million guaranteed) stunned everyone by taking Penix at No. 8. The Vikings then made NFL history by taking McCarthy. By the time NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell strode to the stage to announce the Mile High City’s selection, every quarterback that the Denver Broncos were linked with were gone except for Nix.

Barring Trade, Denver Broncos Off Until Friday Night

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With Nix now in the fold, the Denver Broncos do not pick again until Round 3. Barring a trade, the team next selects at No. 76 sometime Friday evening, when the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft take place.

The Denver Broncos will be busy on Saturday, however, when rounds four through seven take place. The team has one pick in the fourth round (No. 121), three picks in the fifth round (Nos. 136, 145, 147) and two more in the sixth round (Nos. 203 and 207).

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Tom Carothers is a sportswriter with more than 20 years of experience covering sports at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. Still longing for the return of his Minnesota North Stars, he has a high pain tolerance as a big fan of the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Browns, and Tottenham Hotspur.

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