Moving away from quarterback Russell Wilson after two poor seasons, the Denver Broncos drafted quarterback Bo Nix with the 12th overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft. Nix played a total of 61 collegiate games in three years at Auburn and two at the University of Oregon, throwing for a total of 15,352 yards, 113 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. Coming into the draft at 24, many questioned his ability to perform at a high level for an extended period in the NFL. The Broncos, however, saw things differently.

“You look at it, it’s hard because this is new, but 24 years old is not that old for football,” Broncos general manager George Paton said after the draft. “You evaluate it, but you’re really evaluating the player, you’re evaluating the person. Evaluate how they fit in with the organization, especially for a quarterback. To me the age, they’re going to be more, especially with a guy like Bo Nix, 61 starts, we feel like he’ll be more game-ready than if we were going to draft a 21 year old.”

Much of the 2024 quarterback draft class was similar to Nix in that they had much more college experience, with Michael Penix Jr. and Jayden Daniels playing five total seasons. In an era where quarterback performances are highly unpredictable, the Broncos choose experience over potential. Though the fifth quarterback taken in the draft, Nix led all other prospects in total passing yards, finishing his career sixth all-time in the statistic.

“He really liked him, and then we went to the private workout and spent three hours with Bo in the meeting setting, and he was outstanding,” Paton said. “And we go out to the field, and he made 10, 15 throws and Sean [Payton] came up to me and said, ‘This is the guy.'”

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The Broncos last had a winning season when they won the Super Bowl in 2015, and since then have had five different players lead the team in passing. Nix is the first quarterback drafted by the team since Tim Tebow in 2012 and hopes to make an impact as they move on from the departure of Wilson. Though their newest addition, Nix’s role as the Broncos starter is not yet guaranteed, as he will have to face off against quarterback Zach Wilson for the position.

Regardless of who starts in Week 1, the Broncos will now have multiple quarterback options. They’ve finished last in the AFC West in four of the past five years, but with Paton’s expectations for Nix, the hope is that they can finally make another playoff run.

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