Broncos have a chance to make franchise history with QB draft pick

The Broncos could make history with a 1st-round QB selection
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

If the Denver Broncos select a quarterback in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft as many expect, it could end up being a historic selection for the franchise.

The Broncos do not have a lengthy history of selecting quarterbacks in the first round of the NFL Draft. As a matter of fact, the Broncos have only used four first-round picks in the franchise's history on the quarterback position. There's a bit of a technicality there as John Elway wasn't drafted by the Broncos, but acquired in a Draft day trade with the Baltimore Colts in 1983. John Elway is no more a Colts quarterback, however, than Eli Manning is a Chargers quarterback.

But the history books say the Broncos have drafted four first-round quarterbacks in the team's history. They are:

Quarterbacks drafted in the 1st round by the Denver Broncos

  • 1992: Tommy Maddox, UCLA, 25th pick
  • 2006: Jay Cutler, Vanderbilt, 11th pick
  • 2010: Tim Tebow, Florida, 25th pick
  • 2016: Paxton Lynch, Memphis, 26th pick

Tebow is the only quarterback drafted by the Broncos to win a playoff game for the team. Jay Cutler is the only QB drafted by the Broncos to be selected to the Pro Bowl with the franchise.

The Broncos' rich history as a franchise has been authored mostly by John Elway, who will always have been "drafted" by the Colts 1st overall in 1983. So what is it the Broncos have a chance to do in order to make franchise history in the 2024 NFL Draft? If the Broncos move up even just two spots to select a quarterback, they have a chance to make the next 1st-round QB selected by the team the highest drafted quarterback in franchise history.

Currently, Jay Cutler is the highest-drafted QB in Broncos history at 11th overall. The Broncos surprisingly traded up in the 2006 NFL Draft after reaching the AFC Championship the year prior. No one expected them to move up for Cutler in that class, which featured Vince Young and Matt Leinart, two college football legends.

There's no guarantee of the Broncos moving up in the 2024 NFL Draft, but it's not off the table. If Sean Payton and George Paton fall in love with a prospect, or they want to ensure they're able to draft someone and not get jumped like Payton did in the 2017 NFL Draft with Patrick Mahomes, then there's a pretty solid chance of this happening.

We have a chance for a wide variety of firsts that could be about to happen in the 2024 NFL Draft. Sean Payton has never selected a quarterback in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft as an NFL head coach. Broncos GM George Paton hasn't been part of drafting a QB in the top 12 picks since Christian Ponder in 2011 (ironically with the 12th overall pick).

The next first-round selection has the potential to be monumental and historic in a wide variety of ways. We'll find out soon enough whether or not the next QB of the Denver Broncos will end up being the highest-drafted player at the position in franchise history.