NFL Draft experts make final Denver Broncos mock draft predictions

Draft day is here! Who will the Broncos select in the first round according to analysts?
2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Draft Day is here! Before the big event, let's take a look at which players some of the top analysts have going to the Denver Broncos in round one. The last round-up was made last week, and in that one, quarterback and cornerback were the most popular selections. Has that changed or is that still the most popular direction?

Daniel Jeremiah - Bo Nix, QB Oregon (22nd overall pick - projected trade via PHI):

Daniel Jeremiah, probably the best Draft analyst today, has the Denver Broncos trading down and still taking their quarterback in Bo Nix. The Broncos have done their homework and it looks like Bo could be their guy.

Denver does not have a second-round pick, Philadelphia has two. They are always active during drafts, and it looks like they want a top-tier cornerback or offensive tackle. The deal would make sense for both teams.

""I don't see the Broncos taking Nix at No. 12, and I know they'd like to fill the current Round 2 hole on their draft docket. This move allows them to add a second-rounder from Philly and come away with Nix, who looks to be a great fit for Sean Payton's offense.""

Daniel Jeremiah

With that second-round pick, the Broncos could add another weapon for Bo Nix, like Ricky Pearsall.

Peter Schrager - Bo Nix, QB Oregon (12th overall pick):

Schrager is also someone with good insights heading into the Draft. He also has Denver going quarterback in round 1. Like Jeremiah, Schrager also has Bo Nix going to Denver, but at 12th overall and not in a trade-down.

""I’m not sure how this all works out for Denver. They could very well go up and get J.J. McCarthy, or they could hang tight at No. 12 and take Nix, or they could stay put and take the best player available (QB or no non-QB). I do know there are fans of Nix in the building. Let’s see.""

Peter Schrager

It seems like its either Nix or McCarthy for Denver if they go quarterback.

Bucky Brooks - Jared Verse, EDGE Florida State (12th overall pick):

On Monday, the Broncos traded for Zach Wilson, but will that move take out the option to select a quarterback in round one? I do not think so, but, though anything can happen. An edge rusher can still be very much in play, especially if the Broncos stay at 12th overall.

""Sean Payton's essentially rebuilding the Broncos from scratch, and a premier pass rusher is a critical need. Verse is an energetic QB hunter with the potential to rack up double-digit sacks in the NFL.""

Bucky Brooks

I am afraid I have to disagree with Brooks' selection if the Broncos decide to go edge in round one, especially with Dallas Turner and Laiatu Latu available on the board, but ... it is the Draft, and anything can happen.

Eric Edholm - Bo Nix, QB Oregon (22nd overall pick - projected trade with PHI):

Trading for Zach Wilson, should not rule Denver out on taking a quarterback in round one. One thing the trade could mean is that the Broncos will not be desperate to trade up to get a quarterback, and trading down could be the most realistic scenario, especially with no second-round pick.

""The public discourse around Nix varies. Some people think he fits nicely in Denver. Others don't think it would work quite as well. Most people seem to think Round 2 is more likely for Nix. That feels right to me, too, but if Penix goes as high as he does in this mock, the Broncos might not want to risk another team swooping in for Nix. They're clearly a tough team to peg right now. But one way or another, the Broncos are getting a quarterback, and I don't foresee them getting too precious about it.""

Eric Edholm

I have mentioned it multiple times -- Bo Nix is the perfect fit for the Broncos, he is the most realistic selection if the Broncos decide to go quarterback. Edholm projects the Broncos to trade back and get their guy in the mid-round one.

Charles Davis - Bo Nix, QB Oregon (12th overall pick):

Quarterback seems like the pick for Denver in round one, and for me, it would be between Bo Nix, who Davis has here, or JJ McCarthy. For McCarthy, it will likely take a trade-up, so Nix would probably make more sense.

""No, this week's trade for former No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson does not take Denver out of the QB market. Sean Payton was never afraid to use future draft capital to secure a player he coveted while head coach in New Orleans. To move up this year, the Broncos will likely have to part with their first-rounder in 2025. ... But what if they don't have to do so.""

Charles Davis

Nix has been compared to Drew Brees, a very familiar quarterback to Sean Payton.

Field Yates - Dallas Turner, EDGE Alabama (12th overall pick):

As I have mentioned multiple times, if it is not a quarterback, an edge rusher will be the pick for the Broncos. The question would be who?

""No team has been more difficult to size up in the first round during this pre-draft process than Denver. The Broncos could of course be in the market for a quarterback, with Jarrett Stidham and Zach Wilson atop the depth chart at the moment. But they also have short- and long-term needs that better align with how the board might fall at No. 12. That includes a pass-rusher, as Denver was tied for 21st in sacks last season at 42. Turner, the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year, would provide an immediate boost. He tallied 10 sacks in 2023.""

Field Yates

Turner and Latu are 1A and 1B for me, but Turner has a slight edge due to Latu's injury history.

Jordan Reid - Bo Nix, QB Oregon (22nd overall pick - projected trade with PHI):

Reid's final mock is a 7-round one, and he also has the Broncos trading down with the Philadephia Eagles. This seems realistic, as the Eagles' general manager Howie Roseman has shown interest in trading up in the Draft and selecting one of the top-tier cornerbacks. 12th overall would be the perfect spot for them.

Nix would be the perfect complement for Zach Wilson and could be the pick for Denver at 12th overall or later by trading down.

""The correlation between Nix's skill set and that of QBs who have played under Denver coach Sean Payton is impossible to ignore. Nix is accurate, poised and decisive -- all traits Payton covets. After the trade back, this a more reasonable range for Nix, and it's a big win for the Broncos. They can land a great scheme fit at QB and add a pick in Round 2, where they currently don't have any selections.""

Jordan Reid

The rest of Reid picks for the Broncos are the following: Edge Chris Braswell (50 via PHI), CB Andru Phillips (76), TE Theo Johnson (121), WR Johnny Wilson (136), DT Justin Eboigbe (145), LB Curtis Jacobs (147), OT Tylan Grable (161 via PHI), Edge Khalid Duke (207), and OT Gottlieb Ayedze (256).

NFL Nation Reporters - Dallas Turner, EDGE Alabama (12th overall pick):

Multiple NFL Nation reporters joined for a collective mock draft, published on ESPN. For the Broncos pick, Jeff Legwold was the one in charge of making the selection. Edge rusher is a top priority for the Denver Broncos, and if Dallas Turner, who many see as the top edge in this year's class, is available on the board, the Broncos could take a swing at him.

""General manager George Paton said last week the Broncos have to hit on this pick with an impact player. Despite their glaring need at quarterback, the fifth QB on the board in this spot might not bring that impact. If they don't trade down in this scenario, the best player available is either Turner or Florida State defensive end Jared Verse. Turner, who should be an immediate contributor, gets the nod.""

Jeff Legwold

Matt Miller - Dallas Turner, EDGE Alabama (12th overall pick):

Another one here with Dallas Turner to the Broncos. If George Paton and Sean Payton decide not to go quarterback in round one, or at least not with their first pick (if somehow they get back to round one and get a QB like the Ravens did when they drafted Lamar Jackson), edge rusher should be the pick, either with Turner, Latu or Verse.

""The Broncos have been connected to Oregon quarterback Bo Nix in this spot, but this is simply too early for him, making it hard to imagine the Broncos sacrificing so much in value to get the fifth quarterback on the board. Perhaps Denver would attempt to trade back since it doesn't have a second-rounder, but a few conversations this week led me to Turner here.""

Matt Miller

""There are enough people who believe Denver will look to beef up its pass rush first and potentially make a move for a quarterback in a secondary trade up, and it makes sense. The Broncos' 3-4 defense doesn't have a double-digit sack performer, and Turner's first-step speed, length and bend around the edge would fit well in an outside linebacker role.""

Matt Miller

In this one, Miller goes Turner, who for many is the best edge in the class.

CBS Sports

Ryan Wilson - Michael Penix Jr. (12th overall pick):

The first one has taking Penix Jr. here. For me, Penix would be a high-risk, high-reward selection for Denver. He is a talented and accurate quarterback, but his injury history is a big concern for me. I know that he wrote a letter to general managers regarding his health, but still, it is a concern, and this might be one of the most important picks in team history. Would it be worth it to risk it and select Penix Jr.?

""The teams I've spoken with think Penix Jr. would be a steal in the second round but aren't sure if he'll sneak into Round 1. I feel like he's too good to pass up in the middle of the round here, especially with Denver's glaring need at quarterback -- and playing in a division that includes Mahomes and Herbert ... and with the understanding that the other team in the division, the Raiders, are on the clock next. There's no better deep-ball thrower in this class than Penix, and when I spoke with Rome Odunze and Troy Fautanu during the pre-draft process, neither could understand why we weren't talking about Penix as a slam-dunk top-32 selection. I agree with them.""

Ryan Wilson

Regardless of who the selection is, Denver needs a quarterback, and Penix Jr. can be the answer.

Chris Trapasso - Dallas Turner, EDGE Alabama (12th overall pick):

Dallas Turner has been a popular selection in this final mock draft round-up. He is a player that can have double-digit sacks during his rookie season and Denver needs that, a guy that can step up in defense.

""The Broncos make Turner the first defensive player selected. He's a high-ceiling rusher with an ascending skill set to get to the quarterback.""

Chris Trapasso

Turner could be the first defensive player to get drafted, at 8th overall with the Atlanta Falcons, but if he is available at 12, it would be very understandable if the Broncos select him.

Josh Edwards - Jared Verse, EDGE Florida State (14th overall pick - projected trade with NO):

Last year we saw Sean Payton trading during the Draft with his former team, the New Orleans Saints. Can we see it this year? For sure! Denver does not have a second-round pick. Obviously, trading down a few spots, two in this case would not give you a second, but can give you a mid-round pick that can help you move up in day 2.

""When Sean Payton was with the Saints, they always valued powerful pass rushers and Jared Verse is more in that realm than Dallas Turner or Laiatu Latu. The Broncos have some guys to rush the passers, but now they have a 'dude'.""

Josh Edwards

Verse is a hungry prospect, a guy that easily gets to the quarterback, and Denver needs that.

Kyle Stackpole - Brock Bowers, TE Georgia (12th overall pick):

Bowers was a popular selection for Denver before, but as the Draft gets closer, it seems like he will be a top-10 pick. If he falls to 12, it would be a no-brainer for the Broncos.

""The Broncos add a top-10 talent to a tight end room that didn't do much of anything last season.""

Kyle Stackpole

Bowers is a top-tier prospect in this year's draft, a unique weapon regardless of who the quarterback is. If you take Bowers, you can get your quarterback later, either Bo Nix later in the first/in the second with a trade-up or Spencer Rattler at 76.

Pro Football Talk

Mike Florio - Bo Nix, QB Oregon (28th overall pick - projected trade with BUF):

In this mock draft, Mike Florio just listed his picks, so there is no reasoning behind each selection. But, like Reid before, trading back is a scenario many see for the Denver Broncos. This time, 16 spots instead of 10, but the selection is the same ... Oregon's quarterback, Bo Nix.

It seems like the Broncos did a good research studying Bo NIx, and it seems like a very realistic option for Denver.

KOA Radio

Benjamin Allbright - Jared Verse (22nd overall pick - projected trade with PHI):

Benjamin Allbright has been a controversial insider for the Denver Broncos, but still, I had to include him in this final mock draft round-up.

""Possibility the Broncos could move back yet again and grab more picks. Nix is a day two talent.""

Benjamin Allbright

Verse could be the pick for Denver if they decide to go edge, especially if Dallas Turner and Laiatu Latu are off the board. If the Broncos go edge, and stay at 12th overall, Turner and Latu make more sense, but if they trade back and still go edge, Verse should be the guy.