Broncos land QB Bo Nix with No. 12 pick in 2024 NFL draft

Broncos land QB Bo Nix with No. 12 pick in 2024 NFL draft


Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton has a new quarterback protege to bring along.

With the No. 12 pick in the first round of the NFL draft, the Broncos on Thursday selected Oregon’s Bo Nix.

Now, nearly after four months after Denver benched Russell Wilson in a move that would serve as a harbinger of the veteran quarterback’s eventual release, Payton has his replacement behind center. 

While both Payton and general manager George Paton acknowledged ahead of the draft that they had closely examined all their options at the position, both stressed the importance of not forcing a pick in the draft.

“Do we have to draft a quarterback? You would say, ‘Man, it sure looks like we have to draft a quarterback,’ “ Payton said during a pre-draft news conference on Thursday. “And yet, it has to be the right fit and the right one. If we had the tip sheets as to who everyone else was taking, it would be easier to answer that question. That’s the puzzle here.”

Nix became the sixth quarterback selected on Thursday night, tying a first-round draft record set in the famed 1983 class. He was preceded by USC’s Caleb Williams, LSU’s Jayden Daniels, North Carolina’s Drake Maye, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy.

While Payton has been praised for his work in developing quarterbacks, he has worked almost exclusively with veterans throughout his career. Thursday’s choice marked the first time a team led by Payton had ever selected a signal-caller in the first round. Payton famously was targeting Patrick Mahomes in 2017, but the Kansas City Chiefs leapfrogged the New Orleans Saints to secure the future two-time NFL MVP.

Nix enjoyed one of college football’s most drastic turnarounds after transferring to Oregon from Auburn, where he had three turbulent seasons as a starter. In 2023, Nix set a Football Bowl Subdivision record with a 77.4% completion rate, and he led the FBS with 51 total touchdowns.

Already 24, Nix also had an all-time high of 61 career starts in college.

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