Perfect first-round target couldn't be any more obvious for Broncos

It's obvious where the Broncos need to go in the 1st round of the 2024 NFL Draft
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Ali Gradischer/GettyImages

The lead-up to the NFL Draft is a cycle of overthinking among NFL fan bases. Sometimes, the best option is truly the most obvious. The Denver Broncos own the 12th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and they are widely expected to take a quarterback with that pick, though there's a chance we could see them take an offensive tackle, receiver (including Brock Bowers), or maybe EDGE player in the first round.

With that being said, one particular player continues to stand out as the perfect first-round target for Denver. There's one guy who has been connected to the team the most throughout this process. The Broncos are the current betting favorite to be his next team. The stars may have aligned.

The Broncos' ideal first-round NFL Draft target in 2024 is unquestionably Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix.

What makes Nix the ideal fit for Denver? Well, let's start with the obvious: He might be the most realistically available quarterback to the Denver Broncos. But even as we ponder the idea of the Broncos trading up, the value Nix presents when staying put at pick number 12 overall compared to mortgaging your future picks to move up for Drake Maye or JJ McCarthy is worth noting.

Nix is older than both Maye and McCarthy, and by a decent amount. He just turned 24 in February while McCarthy just turned 21 in January and Maye won't be 22 until August. Despite being older than these guys, the Broncos have to consider the trade-up scenarios and what they would be sacrificing.

Is JJ McCarthy for Bo Nix and at least two other potential starters or long-term impact players a good trade? Would you rather have Drake Maye or Bo Nix and multiple other key starters? A few years down the line, I might have egg on my face for even asking those questions, but at present moment, the Broncos have to consider the true trade-off of moving up for one of those particular players.

If you have conviction about a guy, you've got to go up and get him if need be. But the idea of Nix plus other starters versus sacrificing future first-round draft capital for McCarthy or Maye is something the Broncos need to seriously consider. Can Nix be a fit in Sean Payton's offense? Can he come in and immediately upgrade the offense? At this point, there's evidence to suggest that no quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft class could come in and operate Sean Payton's offense as well as Bo Nix.

Interestingly enough, Chase Daniel -- someone who worked with Sean Payton for a variety of years in New Orleans as well as under Joe Lombardi in Los Angeles -- recently posted an extensive breakdown of Bo Nix's game at Oregon.

Daniel is explaining all throughout that video why he believes Nix is a first-round prospect at the quarterback position, and he makes a compelling case. There are so many things to like about Nix's game despite the fact that they used the quick/short passing game as an extension of the running game at Oregon. For whatever reason, that's being held against Nix as opposed to being counted as a strength in his favor.

Lance Zierlein of outlined a wide variety of Nix's overall strengths at the position:

"- Good pre-snap recognition for expedited post-snap itinerary.
- Big hands to manipulate defenses with aggressive pump fakes.
- Shows ability to work through options and find what he likes.
- Generates quality velocity from a sudden, compact release.
- Ball comes out of his hand with good pace and without much effort.
- Impressive run-and-rip talent throwing accurately on the move.
- Play-extender with arm talent to win with secondary action as passer.
- Internal clock and athleticism help him avoid sacks.
- Toughness and talent to move the sticks on called runs."

Lance Zierlein

Those traits are all prerequisites for what Sean Payton wants to do within his offense. Nix does everything well that Payton likes at the position. Not only that, but Payton comes from the Bill Parcells coaching tree, which has historically had a variety of unique requirements when it comes to drafting quarterbacks. What are the Parcells rules?

  • Be a three-year starter
  • Be a senior in college
  • Graduate from college
  • Start 30 games
  • Win 23 games
  • Post a 2-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio
  • Complete at least 60% of passes thrown

Bo Nix checks all of those boxes.

Sean Payton said a few weeks ago that one of the number one ways to improve his offense post-Russell Wilson is to take fewer sacks. Guess who was sacked the least in all of college football over the last two years? That's right, Bo Nix. He was sacked just five times in 2024.

It also just so happens that Bo Nix was near the top of his class on 3rd down plays last season:

As if all of that weren't enough, Nix was a consensus five-star prospect coming out of the high school ranks. He's the son of a coach. He's got a tremendous football pedigree and such a natural feel for the game. He's got dual-threat capabilities and is not only able to avoid sacks, but be an asset on the ground with his legs when needed.

The fit with the Denver Broncos could not be more obvious.

Nix is expected to be available in Denver's pick range, and he just so happens to check every possible box when it comes to the way he plays the game and what Sean Payton is looking for at the position. This is a player Sean Payton can build an offense around. The Broncos have a vastly improved offensive line from what we saw last season, and having a quarterback like Nix is going to allow your playmakers to go out and actually make plays.

This guy is the perfect option for the Denver Broncos in the 2024 NFL Draft.