Denver Broncos Mock Draft: Sean Payton passing on 1st-round QB

Could the Denver Broncos still find their franchise QB even if it's not in the first round?

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The Denver Broncos don't necessarily have to draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. This mock draft has them taking one in round two. I do think momentum is building for the Broncos to draft a QB in the first round. However, depending on how the top of the draft board falls, the Broncos actually might be in a better position to take a QB in the second or even third round.

It might not be an ideal scenario, but if this does happen, trading down for more draft capital and still landing a viable QB prospect could end up working out better for the long term. Is there a realistic scenario where the Broncos can land a franchise QB without drafting him in the first round?

41st Overall Pick (via NYG and GB): Michael Penix Jr, QB, Washington

I traded down twice from the 12th overall pick and landed Michael Penix Jr at the top of the second round, which seems like just about where he gets drafted. Penix is a left-handed thrower and has insane deep-ball accuracy and pocket presence. He does have desirable qualities that could translate into the NFL and into Sean Payton's offense. While Penix isn't the prospect that JJ McCarthy is, getting him in the second round would be a solid draft pick for Sean Payton.