6 realistic options for Denver in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft

Which prospects are the most realistic options for Denver in round one of the upcoming NFL Draft?
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The first round of the 2024 NFL Draft is this Thursday, April 25th at 8:00 PM Eastern Time. The Denver Broncos have not had a first-round pick since All-Pro cornerback Patrick Surtain II back in 2021 due to the Russell Wilson (2022) and Sean Payton (2023) trades.

It is a day Broncos Country has waited for a while, as we may know who our next franchise quarterback will be. Three need positions are obvious and likely the target for Denver in Draft Day, round one. These are quarterback, edge rusher, and possibly tight end if Georgia's Brock Bowers is available.

Let's look at six prospects who realistically could be the player selected by the Broncos on Thursday night ...


- JJ McCarthy, Michigan:

The National Champion quarterback JJ McCarthy might be the top quarterback option for the Denver Broncos going into the Draft, but to get him, they might have to trade up and jump teams like the New York Giants (6th overall pick) and Minnesota Vikings (11th overall). It is rumored that the Giants could be a sneaky team that might trade up for a quarterback. It is also rumored that the Vikings want UNC's Drake Maye, so they can also trade up. The Giants might not trade up, but if Minnesota does and Maye is unavailable, they could move up for McCarthy.

If Minnesota trades up to the third pick to get Maye, and the Giants do not take a quarterback, New England would be a team to watch for McCarthy at 11 (via Vikings). Denver does not have enough capital to move up to get a top 5 pick, but if McCarthy falls, moving up two or three spots to get him would make a lot of sense. Or Sean Payton could pull the trigger and trade to the top 5 by risking their future first-round picks, but securing his franchise quarterback.

McCarthy is a great quarterback throwing the ball in the middle of the field, something Russell Wilson did not do. He has a strong arm and is a great pocket passer.

- Bo Nix, Oregon:

Nix is probably the most likely selection, assuming the Vikings trade up and get JJ McCarthy. He might be a high reach at 12th overall, but if you want to secure your guy, sometimes you must 'over-draft'. The ideal scenario would be Denver trading down to get extra capital, and then get Bo Nix later in round one, but if they do not want to risk it, and take him at 12, it would make sense. Or even if they do not want to trade up, Nix could make sense at 12.

He is a very experienced quarterback, specifically with 61 career starts, a great pocket passer, very accurate, and a great fit for Sean Payton's offense.