Broncos GM George Paton traveling to watch top 2022 QB prospects

Denver Broncos 2022 NFL Draft - Kenny Pickett. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos 2022 NFL Draft - Kenny Pickett. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Denver Broncos general manager George Paton has had a busy couple of weeks scouting some of the top QB prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft in person.

Denver Broncos general manager George Paton is nothing if not thorough. He’s taking some fall trips to different college football matchups involving some of the top quarterback prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Paton recently attended the matchup between Ole Miss and Liberty, which featured two of the top-five QB prospects in the class, Ole Miss’ Matt Corral and Liberty’s Malik Willis.

He’s on the road again for a midweek matchup between top QBs.

Broncos GM George Paton traveling to watch top 2022 QB prospects

Paton certainly won’t be alone in scouting this game, and from a scouting perspective, there’s probably not a more convenient gift for in-person, live scouting. Two of the top-five quarterback prospects in this year’s class going against each other on a Thursday night?

That’s about as ideal as it gets.

It’s important to note that this is not atypical of George Paton, who stated shortly after he was hired by the Broncos as general manager that he really likes to evaluate quarterbacks on the ground and in person.

He took a couple of trips in the pre-draft process to see Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance, and now he’s getting the chance to go and see this year’s top prospects in live game settings.

Executives didn’t have the same opportunity to go and do that last season due to pandemic protocols.

Paton will leave no stone unturned. His presence at these games obviously indicates an emphasis on the possibility of upgrading at the quarterback position. Up to this point, most people have anticipated that he will do so via the veteran route, but the Broncos have a ton of 2022 NFL Draft capital to work with and could easily make a move to get a QB of their choosing in this class.

That is, if they fall in love with a guy.

Paton is giving himself the opportunity to do exactly that. He vowed early on to be aggressive without being reckless, and approaching a draft where taking a quarterback is certainly an option on the table, having a ton of picks (11 right now) puts anything in play.

So what about the guys he’s out there scouting? How have they looked this season?

Liberty’s Malik Willis has been inconsistent at times, but is an absolutely outstanding athlete with a cannon for an arm, and no shortage of highlight-reel plays over the last two seasons.

Ole Miss’ Matt Corral had an issue last season with interceptions, but he’s cleaned that up this year, and despite being a bit small for the position, he’s a fun playmaker at the position with accuracy to all levels.

North Carolina’s Sam Howell was almost a unanimous QB1 going into this season and he definitely has NFL traits, but some of the hype on him has cooled off. He’s still one of the best deep-ball throwers in the country.

Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett is having a Joe Burrow-like resurgence as a senior this season. He would have been drafted last year had he chosen to come out, but he clearly made the right call returning to school for one more season and some have been talking him up as a possible QB1.

Getting the opportunity to see these players in person will be a huge help in the overall scouting process for George Paton and his staff as they look to the future at the position for the Denver Broncos.