Broncos trade up in fourth round to make Bo Nix commitment crystal-clear

The Denver Broncos moved up for Bo Nix's top target
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos have made their commitment to first-round pick Bo Nix abundantly clear by trading up in the 4th round of the 2024 NFL Draft to select Troy Franklin, his favorite target at Oregon with the Ducks.

Nix and Franklin hooked up to the tune of 142 receptions over the last two seasons for over 2,200 yards and 23 touchdowns. Franklin has a bit of a slender frame at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, but he's extremely fast and another big-play threat for the Denver Broncos to go along with the speedy Marvin Mims.

Franklin had a monster year in 2023 for the Ducks with nearly 1,400 yards receiving, averaging over 17 yards per reception. He was compared by's Lance Zierlein to former Saints first-round pick Chris Olave:

"The puzzle pieces are fairly easy to put together when assessing who Franklin is and who he could be in the NFL. He’s a tall, linear receiver with good speed. He’s sudden enough to beat press but lacks the play strength to win combat catches and fight for operating space underneath. He has an innate talent for avoiding traffic and maintaining his distance from pursuit after the catch on crossing routes on all three levels. Franklin might not get WR1 target volume, but he should be productive with a high yards-per-catch average and the ability to open things up underneath for his teammates. Franklin could become a coveted complementary piece for an established WR1 or a productive vertical target for a team looking for instant help in the passing game."

Lance Zierlein

Zierlein, like many NFL Draft analysts, had a 2nd-round grade on Franklin coming out of Oregon. Dane Brugler of The Athletic had him ranked 58th overall on his final big board. To say this is a steal for the Denver Broncos is an understatement, but what's really encouraging is to see the blatantly obvious support thrown toward quarterback Bo Nix.

Yes, Nix is going to have to compete with Jarrett Stidham and Zach Wilson for the starting QB job in Denver, but when you go after a guy's top college target like this, there's no denying the message being sent. The Broncos are all-in on Bo Nix.

Last year, the Broncos had three running backs lead the team in overall touches. Those same running backs all ranked in the top five on the team in passing game targets. That's simply unacceptable and getting more weapons was extremely necessary.

Now, what does this mean for Courtland Sutton? Trade rumors are going to keep on heating up on Day 3 of the 2024 NFL draft and it's been reported that both the Steelers and Rams checked in on his availability. At this point, that’s anyone’s guess, but Franklin is going to be someone the Broncos look to get involved rather quickly along with Josh Reynolds and Marvin Mims among this receiver group.

The Broncos desperately needed offense creators going into this offseason, and we’ve seen them reshape the group of pass-catchers they have. They add Josh Reynolds in free agency, bring back Tim Patrick, trade Jerry Jeudy, and now add Troy Franklin to the mix. You go out and surround your young quarterback as best you possibly can, and this is one of my favorite ways for teams to do exactly that.