Massive first-round mistake Broncos must avoid in draft

The Denver Broncos are less than three weeks away from entering one of the biggest drafts in team history.
Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Liberty v Oregon
Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Liberty v Oregon / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

What will the Denver Broncos do in the 2024 draft? Ideas and options for the team are all over the place and it seems pretty obvious that the team must nail this draft class. So what is the big mistake the team must avoid in the first round?

Sean Payton seems to have his eyes on drafting a quarterback, and there may be only one in his crosshairs. The team did not sign a veteran free agent, as many expected, so it seems the team is content with Jarrett Stidham manning that role. But it feels as though there will be absolute mayhem if the team doesn't take a quarterback in this draft.

There are many options being connected to the team at that position. Bo Nix (easily the most popular choice), Michael Penix Jr. and J.J. McCarthy are the players that are most often mocked to the Broncos this draft season. In the case of McCarthy, the popular belief is that it would take a significant trade for the team to land him.

But here is what the team should absolutely not do: Sit at No. 12 and take a quarterback.

It sounds so simple and there would likely be many fans within Broncos Country that disagree with that decision, but taking a QB, just to make sure you get one, may not be the best course of action. Sure, an argument can be made that waiting longer is too risky, but the Broncos also need to take some other things into account.

Mainly, the fact that this QB-heavy early portion of the draft is going to allow for other highly skilled players to slide down the board. If the Broncos were able to trade down say six to 10 spots in the first-round order, add a second-round pick and still select someone like Brock Bowers, Terrion Arnold or Laiatu Latu, that absolutely has to be considered.

Then, with their newly-acquired pick in the second round, the team could still take a quarterback. And after the sprint to grab one of those QBs takes place early in the first round, all of the other teams that are desperate for a new passer will be satisfied. That could leave someone like Penix or Nix still on the board in the second round, a scenario that is not only possible, but quite likely.

The Broncos do need a quarterback out of this draft class, but taking one with the No. 12 selection is probably the worst move for this team. If the Broncos trade up in order to land someone such as McCarthy or Drake Maye or trade back and acquire a second-round choice, both of those moves speak to a team looking to be aggressive while also making a calculated move. Taking a QB at No. 12 shows that this team is just going to make sure it can get what it can get.

Next. First-Round QBs Ranked. Every QB ever drafted by the Broncos in the first round... ranked. dark

And that... should not be the direction of this team.