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Should the Broncos still consider QB in the NFL Draft?

The Denver Broncos have gone from 1-5 to 6-6 with the playoffs still within reach, but does that mean, or should that mean, that Russell Wilson’s spot should be secure?

NFL: Denver Broncos at Houston Texans Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos, having clawed their way back from a horrid 1-5 start, have their goal of reaching the playoffs still within reach, but they also find themselves in a situation some in Broncos Country feared early in the season.

That fear was the concept that the Broncos would bounce back JUST enough to look somewhat respectable but also play themselves out of a draft pick who could alter the course of the franchise.

At 6-6, the Broncos currently have the 15th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, right smack in the middle. And if the Broncos stay the course and finish hovering around .500, it will put them out of reach for the elite at the most coveted position, quarterback.

And that is a bit of a pickle, as while Russell Wilson has certainly had an admirable bounce back year, he is still underwhelming in a lot of ways for someone paid so handsomely. He has been sacked 36 times, struggled mightily on third downs, is visibly missing open receivers downfield, and has thrown for over 200 yards just seven times in the past eight games.

Arguably his best attributes have been his ability to rally his team late and protecting the football. This past week, he failed in both those areas, coming up short twice when the team needed him to engineer a go-ahead drive, and he finished the game with three interceptions, including the one that ended the game.

The Broncos don’t have the resources (or at least those they’d be willing to part with) to trade up for someone like Drake Maye, Caleb Williams, or Jayden Williams (who has been shooting up draft boards). That means that the remaining young signal callers who could go early are no more of a guarantee than Russell Wilson to lead the team to success.

The question becomes, how much faith does the staff and front office have in Wilson for the next two to three seasons?

Wilson, despite his mediocre stat lines, has shown tremendous leadership and resiliency and appears to be well respected by his teammates, putting to bed a narrative from last year that he was dividing the locker room. Are those intangibles enough for the powers that be to make the choice to build around him rather than to draft his replacement?

While no QBs will blow anyone away (barring an unforeseen drop by the three aforementioned prospects) in the middle of the first round, there will still be capable receivers, offensive lineman, and others who could help make it easier on him.

If the staff and front office feels that despite his good standing, his physical abilities are limiting the offense, how they approach the QB spot will be something to monitor. The team does not have a second round pick, so the team will either have to reach in the first round or hope to find a sleeper later on.

Names who may find themselves available by the time the Broncos pick include Oregon’s Bo Nix, Washington’s Michael Penix, Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders, and Michigan’s JJ McCarthy. All are talented, but all come with major question marks.

In a perfect world, the Broncos bounce back after last week’s loss, win a trip to the playoffs, and feature a rejuvenated Wilson who propels his team forward, but if the team and Wilson remain wobbly on the offensive end, a decision is going to have to come.

Again, it all comes down to patience. Sean Payton has the team believing it can win, so it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the team reverts back to top-5 overall pick territory, but is this the year to take a developmental QB to develop behind Wilson for a year or so? Or can the team afford to wait it out just a bit more in hopes Wilson has enough magic left for another postseason push?

The last five games should paint a vivid picture of what the team should consider this April.

Poll

Should the Broncos use their 2024 first-round pick on a QB?

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    Yes - it’s time to plan for the future
    (668 votes)
  • 28%
    No - Russ has enough left in the tank
    (267 votes)
935 votes total Vote Now

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