When the College Football National Championship Game takes center stage on Monday night from NRG Stadium in Houston, the Denver Broncos should be interested onlookers.
We have talked about players for fans to watch in this game and that includes the starting quarterback for each team in the matchup. But there is a very real possibility that one of those quarterbacks will be chosen by the Broncos in April's NFL draft.
The Broncos have the No. 12 overall pick in the first round and there will be talk for the next several months about the Broncos taking a quarterback in the draft following the way the situation with Russell Wilson played out this season combined with what can only be described as a lackluster effort from his replacement, Jarrett Stidham.
Looking at all of the draft analysis that is already out there and will multiply immensely in the coming months, Caleb Williams from USC, North Carolina's Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels, the Heisman Trophy winner from LUS are going to be the top quarterbacks in the selection process.
You could also add Oregon's Bo Nix to the mix, but Penix and McCarthy have a chance to put a stamp on being a first-round pick with a solid performance in this game.
Penix is the name that is being connected most closely to the Broncos right now. Penix, who finished second in the Heisman voting, transferred from Indiana to Washington following the 2021 season. He has thrown for over 13,000 yards with 95 touchdowns in his college career.
The knock on him is going to be his injury history, which includes two torn ACL's along with the fact that he will turn 24 years old in May, which is a little older than you'd like a rookie quarterback to be.
However, his accuracy, particularly on the deep ball, will allow some scouts and teams to overlook those facts.
As for McCarthy, he has the kind of size teams are often looking for at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds. In three years at Michigan, he has completed 68 percent of his throws for 6,086 yards with 49 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions. He's also nimble for a player his size and has scored 10 touchdowns rushing during his college career.
Both of these players will draw close evaluation from the Broncos and be on Sean Payton's draft board. So when you watch the championship game on Monday night, regardless of which team you are rooting for, you could easily be looking at the future quarterback of the Broncos.