How confident is Sean Payton in potentially developing a rookie QB?

This is going to have a huge impact on the Broncos 2024 NFL Draft plans.

NFL Combine
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The quarterback class in the 2024 NFL Draft seems to be a deep one, but how deep does Sean Payton and the Broncos front office think it is? No one truly knows what'll happen when the NFL draft begins besides what the Bears will do with the top pick. Beyond Caleb Williams going first overall, which is a near-guarantee, the rest of the draft is uncertain.

Besides Williams, other quarterbacks in this class of note are Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, JJ McCarthy, Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr, Spencer Rattler, and Michael Pratt. Truly, this quarterback class does seem quite deep, but the hit rate on franchise quarterbacks is very low. And this is where Sean Payton's job gets tough as an evaluator of college QBs.

The Broncos plan at quarterback in the NFL draft is going to boil down to how confident Sean Payton is in this class. I know you might be saying to yourself "well yeah Lou, that's how it works," but the rest of the draft for the Denver Broncos can be impacted by what the Broncos want to do with the QB position.

The Denver Broncos could stand pat at 12 if they want. They'd likely have guys like Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr available to them. The team could also feel like they want one of the "big four" QBs in Williams, Daniels, Maye, or McCarthy. A massive trade up the draft board would not only deplete the Broncos draft capital this year, but would take away from it in the following years as well.

And the last solution could be the Broncos trading back with a team, acquire more capital, and still find a franchise QB that way. The Broncos would then have to ask themselves this in a hypothetical scenario:

"Would we rather have JJ McCarthy in a trade up to the 4th overall pick and only a few other prospects, or would we prefer to trade down for Bo Nix, potentially add a second-round pick, and come away with Nix and a viable prospect in the second round."

I have personally done mock drafts where I have traded down to draft Bo Nix in the late-first or early-second while also adding someone like TE Ja'Tavion Sanders or DT T'Vondre Sweat in the second round. Would the Broncos prefer to have a top four QB or a lesser prospect at QB with other players to bolster that?

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It's an interesting situation for the Broncos, and it'll ultimately boil down to how confident Sean Payton is in this QB class.