Broncos may already have blockbuster trade in place for QB in 2024 NFL Draft

Could this already be done for the Denver Broncos?
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Connecting some dots here, and the Denver Broncos could already have a blockbuster deal in place to move up for a QB in the 2024 NFL Draft. With four quarterbacks likely gone within the top six picks, the Denver Broncos will certainly need to trade up during the NFL Draft if they want to land one of the top QB prospects.

Well, could the team already have a blockbuster deal in place to land a top QB prospect? With Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels likely all going with the first three picks, the next best prospect is JJ McCarthy from Michigan, and if you read some tea leaves here and there, you may find that Sean Payton is and has been targeting McCarthy all along, and the Broncos might even have a trade-up partner, too.

So, let's break down each aspect of this situation.

Sean Payton's social media

This one might not mean much at all, but Sean Payton follows JJ McCarthy on Twitter/X.

Maybe this is just because Payton wants to keep track of what his potential franchise QB is posting. Or maybe it's just because Payton worked out McCarthy. Perhaps it's because Sean Payton wants to follow his future QB...

This one might not hold nearly as much weight as these other reasons, but it's still worth noting.

Broncos private workout with JJ McCarthy

The Denver Broncos had a private workout with JJ McCarthy earlier this NFL Draft cycle. This isn't nothing, as a private workout is quite the personal time with any prospect.

"“I wasn’t at J.J.’s pro day, but we had a private (workout with him) the next day where we sent him a bunch of information, spent four or five hours with him, just made him throw all over again,’’ said Payton, the Broncos’ head coach and overall football boss, of the first-round quarterback prospect from Michigan, during the AFC coaches breakfast last month in Orlando, Fla. “I think it’s all part of the process. I think it can lead to a more efficient and effective decision.”"

Sean Payton via Mike KlisM

JJ McCarthy is a very good NFL quarterback prospect and could be a top-three QB in this year's draft, depending on who you ask. I would personally put Caleb Williams first, Drake Maye second, and JJ McCarthy third. A private workout is quite significant, perhaps giving us an indication as to who the Denver Broncos might trade up for.

"I think it's good to be Monti..."

Sean Payton was asked about the possibility of moving up even if QBs go with the first three selections, and he said it's realistic. He also noted that "...I think it's good to be Monti..." He's obviously referring to Monti Ossenfort, and perhaps is on a first-name basis with the GM. Payton is clearly saying that if a team moves up to the fourth spot, they could get quite the haul of picks even with the consensus top three QBs gone.

You almost have to think if Sean Payton and Monti Ossenfort had conversations prior to this interview. Maybe all we have to do here is read the tea leaves...

What the experts are saying

Take a look at this tidbit from NFL Draft expert Daniel Jeremiah:

That last part is huge, as Jeremiah indicates that the Arizona Cardinals could move back, surely for a massive haul of draft picks, and even then trade back up for one of the top three wide receivers. In fact, the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals did this same scenario back in the 2023 NFL Draft, so Cards GM Monti Ossenfort is no stranger to working the draft board.

For example, the Denver Broncos could give the Cardinals a haul to move up to the fourth spot. Arizona would then move down to 12, and if one of the "big 3" wide receivers, likely Rome Odunze or Malik Nabers, falls a pick or two, nothing would stop the Cardinals from moving up a few slots.

Furthermore, the Cardinals roster is still missing a ton of talent, and with the Broncos not having a ton of draft capital to offer to move up, a player like Patrick Surtain II, Courtland Sutton, or even Quinn Meinerz could be packaged in the deal to move up, which gives Arizona legitimate talent, something they desperately need.

When you combine all of these scenarios, it's hard to imagine a world where Denver does not trade up with Arizona for JJ McCarthy. Could this be the blockbuster trade for the Broncos in the 2024 NFL Draft?