As the Denver Broncos begin their search for their next starting quarterback, the team will be heavily involved in the assessment and evaluations of every quarterback entering the 2024 NFL Draft. Therefore, if the front office does decide to pass on a free agent/trade target at the position, who could be a reasonable draft target? Potential prospects mentioned as realisitic options for the Broncos include J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix, and Michael Penix Jr.
While the Broncos will likely not be 'out of reach' of drafting any of these prospects, would it be considered a "reach" if Denver had selected any of the three as high as the 12th overall pick? Probably so. However, there is reason to believe that Oregon's Bo Nix could be worth Denver's first round selection if head coach Sean Payton were to love the thought of drafting his abilities -- the same could be said for McCarthy as well. However, as far as Washington's Michael Penix Jr., there is no justifiable explanation for drafting him with the 12th overall pick.
Early reports coming out of Mobile, Alabama at the 2024 Reese's Senior Bowl state that Penix Jr. has had a difficult time impressing scouts during drills. In fact, it has been a rough showing for the 23-year-old quarterback. He has shown flashes during practice with accuracy as opposed to the other quarterbacks however, seems to be plummeting his draft stock a bit this week.
Why Broncos need to stay away from Michael Penix Jr.:
Despite having one of the more stronger arms in the draft compared to other quarterbacks, Penix Jr.'s inconsistent accuracy, wonky footwork, shakiness under pressure, lack of mobility, and long injury history are all main reasons why the Denver Broncos should erase the thought of potentially drafting the Washington quarterback with any of their draft picks. I personally believe Penix Jr. will fall to either the late second round or third round round due to his weaknesses. His inability to extend plays also raises concern and the fact he lacks a lot of strengths convinces me he doesn't have the traits to become an NFL franchise quarterback.
The mobility and arm talent of top quarterbacks like Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, Bo Nix, and even J.J. McCarthy are the main aspects on film that will likely have a handful of teams convinced of their high ceilings at the professional level. However, regarding Penix Jr., it is quite difficult to find any traits that can compare to other top prospects at his position. As previously mentioned, his two ACL tears during college will also significantly impact his draft stock and shy teams away, including the Broncos. There is just too much risk with drafting Penix Jr. with all factors considered.