Broncos’ Rookie QB is already being called a ‘Draft-Day Steal’

The Denver Broncos completed a record number of quarterbacks in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft when they selected Oregon quarterback Bo Nix at No. 12 overall – the sixth quarterback taken in the first round.

The return on that investment could come sooner than expected.

Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski had Nix at the top of his list of draft-day steals just before the Broncos gathered for mandatory minicamp on June 11-14.

“The last quarterback taken in the first round could actually yield the quickest return, as the 24-year-old signal-caller fits well into (Sean) Payton’s system, with playing time under his belt to even out some of the ups. and downs that novices often experience,” Sobelski wrote.

As the No. 12 pick, Nix signed a four-year contract worth $18.6 million. He is in a three-way battle for the starting spot with veteran quarterbacks Jarrett Stidham and Zach Wilson.

Nix completed a record-breaking college career at Oregon

Not only does Nix have more experience when he graduates than Stidham, Wilson or any of the five quarterbacks selected above him in the NFL draft. He has more college experience than any quarterback to ever enter the NFL.

Nix’s 61 career starts from 2019 to 2023 was an NCAA record that will almost certainly never be broken. He went 43-18 during those five seasons, with the first three at Auburn and the last two at Oregon.

Nix was the SEC Freshman of the Year at Auburn in 2019 and went on to finish his career as the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and Heisman Trophy finalist at Oregon. In 2023, he set the NCAA single-season record for completion percentage (77.4 percent) and led the FBS with 45 passing touchdowns. He also set a single-season school record with 4,508 passing yards.

NFL analyst Lance Zierlein had Nix projected as a second-round pick in his pre-draft evaluation, comparing him to four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo.

“Nix shows the accuracy, arm talent and athleticism consistent with today’s brand of professional quarterback,” Zierlein wrote. “He can be punctual in getting the ball out at the top of his drop, or he can work through progressions and beat defenses with second-reaction plays. He throws with good speed and puts the ball on the money when he throws on the move. Nix has shown a big improvement with his pocket position. He can move the sticks as a scrambler or as part of the running game.

“Some of his flashy production is due to the design of the Oregon offense, but his talent clearly stands out. I harbored preconceptions from watching the overpowered version of Nix during his Auburn days, but as the saying goes, “tape doesn’t lie.” Nix looks more than ready to attack the competition with NFL-caliber skills.”

Broncos offense in desperate need of help

If you want proof of the desperate state Denver’s offense has been in recently, just remember that the franchise hasn’t had a player with 1,000 yards rushing or receiving since 2019.

The last players to do it? Current wide receiver Courtland Sutton had 1,112 receiving yards in 2019, the same year former running back Phillip Lindsay had 1,011 rushing yards.

Denver hasn’t made the playoffs since winning the Super Bowl after the 2015 season.