Sean Payton reveals Broncos weren't alone in wanting Bo Nix during 2024 Draft

Trading down was never an option...
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

There have been a lot of critics coming out this offseason and absolutely slamming the Denver Broncos for using the 12th overall pick on former Oregon Ducks star and Heisman finalist Bo Nix. Sean Payton and the rest of the Broncos brain trust have been accused of "reaching" for Nix, drafting a guy who is "too old" and has "maxed out" his abilities as a player.

All of the critiques of Nix have been relatively hysterical even if there is validity to everyone's opinion of him as a player. But respectfully, why should any analyst have their opinion taken more seriously than the opinion of Sean Payton? Payton has been the architect of one top-10 offense after another during his time with the New Orleans Saints and obviously knows the quarterback position better than me, better than you, and better than most.

And he trusts his ability to evaluate the position.

Payton recently went on Jay Glazer's podcast -- UNBREAKABLE -- and revealed some fascinating insight not only regarding his thoughts on Bo Nix, but potentially some information from behind the curtain about other teams behind the Broncos in the 2024 NFL Draft order who wanted Nix as well.

Although it's been easy for people to say, "Nobody else would have taken Nix in the 1st round" because it helps fit their narrative that he was never a 1st-round player to begin with, Payton knows things you and I don't. And without naming names, he revealed to Jay Glazer that there were teams (or at least one other team) behind the Broncos who would have taken Nix if the Broncos didn't.

"When I hear people say, 'This guy, he could’ve got in the 2nd or 3rd round,' I know they don’t know what they’re talking about. But all of those things can move scouts and coaches in their grading and their opinions. So, trust what you see. Tune out the white noise when you’re trying to evaluate anybody…

...I think once we knew that Bo was the guy we were going to draft, we knew that we couldn’t be the only team seeing what we were seeing. And come to find out, we weren’t. I’m just going to say that relative to teams behind us."

Sean Payton

People in the media world who have agendas to push will insist that Payton is trying desperately to save face here and that his responses to criticism for taking Nix at #12 overall are merely canned, pre-planned defenses. But there is plenty of evidence out there to know and understand that the Broncos weren't the only team that liked Nix as a 1st-round target.

The most telling of all will be when Nix finally takes the field as an NFL starting quarterback. Sean Payton has done his part to "defend" this pick, as if he had to do that to begin with. The Broncos have a head coach who is excited about his first-round QB and a coaching staff that obviously believes in that young quarterback. They have a vision and direction at the game's most important position.

And frankly, there has been no reason to believe the Broncos made a mistake with Nix. The guy has been as advertised by Payton all offseason. At this stage, everything being said about Nix by fans, analysts, and pundits is based on speculation. Those who have actually seen him practice have said he's looked sharp.

Although we may not know exactly what teams were willing to pull the trigger on taking Nix in the 1st round of the 2024 NFL Draft besides the Denver Broncos, it's clear that the Broncos weren't alone in thinking he was worthy of that draft status. We will know soon enough whether or not they were right.