Following a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that knocked the Broncos to 1-5 on the season, the team should be planning for the future. This includes the idea of embracing a fire sale and getting back as much as it can in terms of draft capital for some of the players on the roster.
The Broncos are going to have a high pick in the 2024 NFL Draft as they appear to be one of the worst teams in the league. There are other teams that look really bad in the New York Giants, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers. But do any of those teams look worse than the Broncos?
If not for a miraculous comeback in Chicago, this team would be 0-6. Here is what their remaining schedule looks like.
Week 7 vs. Green Bay
Week 8 vs. Kansas City
Week 9 BYE WEEK
Week 10 at Buffalo
Week 11 vs. Minnesota
Week 12 vs. Cleveland
Week 13 at Houston
Week 14 at Los Angeles Chargers
Week 15 at Detroit
Week 16 vs. New England
Week 17 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Week 18 at Las Vegas
Realistically, how many wins do you see in there? Given the way that the team is playing, it's not likely that there is very many.
With their first-round pick, the Broncos MUST select a quarterback. This is the same argument that many Broncos fans made in 2018 and then again in 2021 and in each of those drafts, the Broncos selected a defensive player. Since the year 2000, the Broncos have used a first-round pick on a quarterback just three times.
Russell Wilson turns 35 years old at the end of next month and though it was exciting when the team traded for him, he is very clearly not the future of this team. But even if the Broncos need to keep him on the roster in 2024 due to his huge contract, the team should still draft a quarterback.
And good thing for the Broncos, this upcoming draft class has many great quarterback prospects. Each of these prospects, if they all declare for the draft, have first-round potential:
Caleb Williams, USC
Drake Maye, North Carolina
Shedeur Sanders, Colorado
JJ McCarthy, Michigan
Michael Penix, Jr., Washington
Quinn Ewers, Texas
If the Broncos were to end up with the No. 1 overall pick, Caleb Williams is a slam-dunk choice as he is one of the highest-rated prospects ever at the position. But North Carolina's Drake Maye and Colorado's Sheduer Sanders also offer a lot of intrigue.
In 2018, the Broncos passed on Josh Allen to instead draft Bradley Chubb. In 2021, the pick was Patrick Surtain II over Justin Fields (though for now, that seems like the right move) but in 2024, it can't be any other player over one of these quarterbacks.
The Broncos need to kickstart the push toward a promising future and that is never going to happen until a legitimate, young franchise quarterback is given the keys. Wilson and other retreads such as Teddy Bridgewater, Joe Flacco and Case Keenum, all players the Broncos have tried in the recent past, were not and will not be the answer.
It would be incredible to see the Broncos get the chance to land Williams. But any mock drafts between now and April 2024 should not be taken too seriously if they have the Broncos taking an edge rusher or a safety, for example.
This team will not win and will not get back on track until this position is resolved, which it hasn't been since Peyton Manning was on the roster. It is time to invest a premium draft pick at the quarterback spot and also, to stop with the notion that the position can remain average if those picks are used on other positions.
To the future general manager of the Denver Broncos (because it won't be George Paton), start looking at all of these quarterback prospects and please, be ready to draft one.