9NEWS Broncos mock draft | Which quarterback will they get?


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Going chalk with a QB in the first round. But which one? Possible trade provisions included.

DENVER — As Payton and Paton, Sean and George, attack this potentially crucial NFL Draft for the Denver Broncos, they must be ever-mindful of the division they play in.

The AFC West has quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes II, who is coached up by Andy Reid, and Justin Herbert, coached up by Jim Harbaugh.

Sean Payton did a nice job in his first season as the Broncos’ head coach in 2023, improving the team from 5-12 to 8-9, despite coaching up a quarterback he didn’t believe in. Russell Wilson is gone, and now its time for Payton to get a quarterback he’s all-in with.

Jarrett Stidham is a nice Dove in the Valley. But with only four NFL starts, and one victory, in his five seasons, the Broncos must provide Stidham with competition for the Game 1 starting quarterback job.

Given the Broncos have stayed on the sidelines for a quarterback during the 2024 free-agent/trading period – 28 QBs came off the market the last four weeks with none joining Denver – it’s imperative they come up with a quarterback in this draft.

Everyone else, it seems, has come up with a Broncos’ mock draft in recent weeks. Which is understandable considering the local 11’s need for a quarterback. Broncos’ mock drafts weren’t as interesting during the Peyton Manning era.

9NEWS might as well mock up a Broncos draft, also. With sadness and regret, it must be announced Mike’s Mystery Mockster has decided to hang up his/her film projector. Only his/her legacy of Mystery will carry on.

With Round 1 of the draft three weeks from today, and with much trepidation, this 9NEWS Broncos reporter is going at it alone.

Round 1, pick 12

Quarterbacks: Jayden Daniels, LSU or Drake Maye, North Carolina/J.J. McCarthy, Michigan or Bo Nix, Oregon

OK, so if I was a quarterback in the pocket, I’d still be holding onto the ball.

Daniels and Maye would be the choice if the Broncos trade up – way up. They probably would have to reach Washington’s No. 2 pick for Daniels and no later than No. 3 New England or 4 Arizona to get Maye.

Given the Broncos for a third consecutive year are thin in upper-round draft picks, this is not a likely scenario. Payton, though, seems like the type who will at least try to take some swings.

If the Broncos make a more modest trade up to, say, the No. 7 (Tennessee-9, Chicago) pick area, it might be for McCarthy. If they stand pat at No. 12 or trade back, it figures to be for Nix or Michael Penix Jr., who visited Broncos’ headquarters Tuesday.

Bengals.com reporter Geoff Hobson has already conducted two mock drafts with reporters from each city to select from their team’s assigned draft slot. In both mocks, I took Bo Nix for the Broncos at No. 12. I might have taken McCarthy the second time, but he was already selected.

RELATED: Top quarterback prospect visits Broncos

Trade back from No. 12 to the 18-24 range, where the Broncos could pick up a Day 2 draft selection (second or third round), and package that pick to move back into the later part of the first round for their quarterback.

In this scenario, the Broncos could select in the 18-24 range:

Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State

Had 9.0 sacks each of the past two seasons for the Seminoles.

What the Broncos need to play opposite Zach Allen on the defensive line. A 297-pound backfield penetrator (5.0 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss last year).

(Bonus mock pick) Round 1, No. 27 to 31 range

*In the trade back from No. 12 scenario, the Broncos would use their additional second- or third round pick to package and trade back into the latter part of the first round to take one of two quarterbacks: Nix or Penix, if one of them falls.

The possible trade-back-in sweet spots are typically from No. 27 (Arizona) to No. 31 (San Francisco) – to land one of the remaining top six quarterbacks. (No. 32 Kansas City is not likely to aid Denver’s quest for a QB.)

George Paton made a similar move in 2014, when as assistant general manager of the Vikings, Minnesota sent second- and fourth-round draft picks to the Seahawks in exchange for their No. 32 selection that became quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Or if trading back from No. 12 means picking up a late-second or third-round draft pick and the Broncos don’t trade back into the first round, they could do worse than take the seventh-rated QB in this draft, Spencer Rattler, South Carolina.

Round 3, pick 76

*Roman Wilson, WR, Michigan

Great athlete with explosives speed.

Jeremiah Trotter Jr, ILB, Clemson

Smart and tough, could be a replacement for Josey Jewell.

*Bucky Irving, RB, Oregon

A tad light for a 1A-type back but he not only rushed for combined 2,238 yards the past two years, he also had 87 catches. Payton loves to throw to his backs.

Round 4, pick 121

Mohamed Kamara, Edge, Colorado State

The next Shaquil Barrett?

Qwan’Tez Stiggers, CB, B.E.S.T. Academy High School, Atlanta

Because he didn’t play in college, some NFL scouts believe Stiggers will need a redshirt rookie year. But that’s what Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts’ secondary coach Josh Bell thought initially, and Stiggers wound up as the league’s most outstanding rookie defensive player.

Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, safety, Texas Tech

With 7 interceptions the past two years, Taylor-Demerson may have Justin Simmons-like ballhawking ability if not his size (5-10, 197). Taylor-Demerson did have an impressive 40 time of 4.41.

Round 5, pick 136

If you can’t load up a Broncos’ mock with quarterbacks this year, when can you? If the Broncos don’t get their QB in Round 1 or the top of Round 2, there are quality passers in the later rounds in this deep QB draft.

Pratt could be a good fit for Payton’s offense.

Jordan Travis, QB Florida State

A gruesome leg fracture cut short Travis’ terrific 2023 season, but 10-0, 20 TD passes and 2 picks can’t be ignored.

Round 5, 145

Great pedigree. Broncos need a true slot receiver.

Isaac Guerendo, RB Louisville

Speed back in what the draft experts says is a weak runningback class. Also returned kickoffs the past two years at Wisconsin and Louisville.

Round 5, pick 147

Dallin Hoker, TE Colorado State

If Broncos don’t go tight end early, Holker’s pass catching ability would be a great supplement to the talented but hamstring-hitched Greg Dulcich.

Daequan Hardy, CB, Penn State

A slot corner who has some ballhawking and return ability. Had two punt returns for touchdowns last season and two interceptions.

Round 6, pick 203

Drake Nugent, center, Michigan

Mike Purcell may be gone, but the Broncos put another Highlands Ranch High School product in their locker room. Broncos, by the way, like the offensive tackles they redshirted as rookies last season, Alex Palczewski and Demontry Jacobs.

Round 6, pick 207

Tory Taylor, punter, Iowa

Big, powerful punter to compete with Riley Dixon.

Austin McNamara, punter, Texas Tech

Hangtime is McNanara’s specialty.

RELATED: Quarterback gurus Miller, Cosell give edge to Nix, Penix over McCarthy

RELATED: George Paton on failed Russell Wilson experiment: ‘We took a shot on a quarterback who’s had a lot of success’



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9NEWS Broncos mock draft | Which quarterback will they get?

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