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George Paton on Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft: ‘We’ll watch Russell Wilson highlights’

The Denver Broncos have nine draft picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, but on that first day we’ll all be watching Russell Wilson highlights.

NFL Combine Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

With the 2022 NFL Draft coming up fast next week, the Denver Broncos held their annual pre-draft press conference with general manager George Paton. There was a lot of discussion that came up up during that presser, but the topic that stuck out to me dealt with Paton’s responses to potentially moving around via trades.

Adding picks in the 2023 NFL Draft could be a priority as Denver also traded away a bit of draft capital there too in order to pry quarterback Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks last month.

“We’ll look into that if it makes sense”, Paton said of accumulating picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. “Obviously, we do love picks. Unlike the Rams, we like picks a lot. [Rams General Manager] Les [Snead] is a good friend. If that comes up—we don’t want to force it, but we’d definitely like to add more picks next year.”

This is a scenario that, as a fan, I would most like to see. The Broncos currently have back-to-back drafts with weak draft capital, so if they could skew the pain to just this 2022 NFL Draft and accumulate/recoup at least their 2023 second round pick then that would be an ideal outcome for me.

However, like any good general manager, Paton is keeping his options and flexibility open. While moving back is an option, he has not ruled out moving up in the second either.

“It’s going to be tough to move up into the first, but I wouldn’t rule it out,” Paton said. “I would say it’s much more likely that we move up in the second or move back. It’s going to take a lot of capital. We’ve gone through all the models to get up there in the first [round]. You never rule it out, but I think it’s more likely we move up into the second.”

When asked if there are any teams willing to negotiate or make deals for Day 2 picks, Paton noted that most of the calls right now are in relation to those first round picks. Since the Broncos have none, they are not really in the mix there. And when the second round comes along, Paton believes they’ll have an idea of how they want to proceed.

“We’ll have an idea of what we want to do on that second day, especially as it starts dropping to the mid rounds,” Paton explained. “Then we’ll decide do we want to move, do we want to stand pat, or do we want to move back?”

I have seen plenty of fans hoping the Broncos move up from their 64th pick, but I am hoping they move back. Ideally, the most optimum outcome would be accumulating another team’s second round pick in 2023 in exchange for that final second round pick in 2022. We’ll almost guarantee the pick next year will be higher than this pick and if Paton is able to negotiate a later mid-round pick to go along with it then that’s even better.

At the end of the day, we probably won’t be enjoying a first round pick in 2022 and 2023, but it would be nice if Paton can position the team with an earlier second round pick next season. Talent goes quick in the draft and then it becomes a lottery of finding those diamonds in the later rounds.

Either way, I’m still glad we’re not talking about who is going to start at the quarterback position and that is a feeling shared by the Broncos’ front office.

“It’s a blessing,” Paton said of not having a first round pick this year. “We love having first-round picks. We love having the early second, but we also love having a franchise quarterback that sets the tone every day in the building. I come in here and he’s here working. There is a reason he’s great. It’s because of the work he puts into it. All the players and the entire organization is watching. There is no pain in that. On that first day, we’ll watch Russell Wilson highlights.”

Paton rounded out the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft discussion with a banger by telling the media that they’ll be watching Russell Wilson highlights next Thursday night.

So will we, George. So will we. Go Broncos!