Outside of the clear-cut top three QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft, there might not be another-first round caliber passer for the Denver Broncos to draft. The top three QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft seem to be Caleb Williams from USC, Drake Maye from UNC, and Jayden Daniels from LSU. Outside of those three, the next tier down seems to feature guys like Bo Nix from Oregon, JJ McCarthy from Michigan, and Michael Penix Jr from Washington.
However, the grades on the latter three quarterbacks do not seem to be that conclusive. I have seen some people claim that none of the latter three are worth a first-round pick, while I have seen some being mocked inside the top 10. Right now, it doesn't seem to be too clear where Nix, McCarthy, and Penix are graded. To me, that begs the question; what if the Denver Broncos do not draft a QB in the first round?
Would that be wise? Well, right off the bat, I would say that if the team cannot realistically land Williams, Maye, or Daniels, and if the latter three are not definitively first-round picks, then the team should consider trading down to acquire more capital. The team does not have a second-round pick, so trading down with the intention of acquiring a lower-first round pick and second-round pick in return could be their best possible scenario.
Perhaps the Broncos do like Bo Nix, but have a second-round grade on him. Well, trading down once or even twice and netting a second-round pick could be a very smart move. The team has first-round needs all across their roster. Besides QB, the Broncos have an argument to target EDGE, DL, and WR in the first-round. Fortunately, all three positions seem to be pretty deep.
With the No. 12 overall pick, the Broncos could land a blue-chip prospect who isn't a QB, but QB is their most urgent need. And like I said above, if they can't get one of the top three passers, a trade down is likely. This may allow the Denver Broncos to pick, perhaps, somewhere later in the teens or even in the 20s. That could still net them a blue-chip prospect and could get them into the second round, where the team could then target a QB they like.
It's a classic example of two birds with one stone.
I think if the Broncos do have someone in mind in the first round, then they should do whatever they can to get that guy. If they haven't fallen in love with someone at QB, a trade down might be their best path forward.