If the NFL season ended today, the Denver Broncos would hold the #1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Now, there are still 15 games left to play, and nobody really expects the Broncos to be picking 1st overall when the season is all said and done, but...what if?
Well, I think it's safe to say that whoever ends up with the top overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft is 99.9 percent sure to draft USC star quarterback Caleb Williams, last year's Heisman Trophy winner and a player who is considered one of the best QB prospects to come along in quite some time. I put together a full first-round mock draft over at NFL Spin Zone looking at the scenario for the Broncos, and even with an improved Russell Wilson, this is a no-brainer.
It's not a difficult decision for a number of reasons. First and foremost, you're not passing on a talent like Caleb Williams if you have the opportunity. There is a reason why so many people feel like the Arizona Cardinals, who have a young former #1 overall pick under long-term contract in Kyler Murray, will eventually get the top overall pick and simply figure out what to do with Kyler Murray after drafting Williams themselves.
Williams is just that special of a talent. Whether you're talking about playing within the structure of the offense or playing out of structure, he is someone who can keep you in games and be the one to go out there and win you games with his abilities. It's hyperbolic to sit here and say he's the next Patrick Mahomes, but you see some of that same type of instinctual playmaking ability in combination with good decision-making and supreme confidence.
It's not out of the question that the Denver Broncos would look to move on from Russell Wilson after the 2023 season regardless of how well he plays. It might depend more on the team's overall success. Perhaps the Broncos would try to turn a big season from Russ into draft capital, or perhaps they would stick with him for another year or so, but if the Broncos' bad luck (in terms of wins and losses) continues, then it won't be surprising in the least to see the team make dramatic changes all over the roster, including at QB.
And if Sean Payton has a chance to draft someone like Caleb Williams? Or even North Carolina's Drake Maye, for that matter? Well, I think the decision would be easy.
We could even see the Broncos dip into the second tier of QB prospects in this upcoming NFL Draft class, which would include players like Shedeur Sanders of Colorado, Bo Nix of Oregon, and Michael Penix of Washington.
But with the #1 overall pick? Well, that would mean Caleb Williams to Denver. If the Broncos keep losing, this is something that's obviously within the realm of possibility.