Latest ESPN mock draft has Broncos taking national champion QB
Jan 10, 2024, 11:55 AM | Updated: Feb 8, 2024, 11:58 am
Every mock draft over the next 2.5 months will be something Denver Broncos fans want to take a look at.
Not since 2021 has the team had a first-round pick. That alone makes it exciting.
But considering the franchise is likely to move on from QB Russell Wilson and potentially select a Round 1 quarterback for the first time since Paxton Lynch makes it all that more interesting.
ESPN’s Jordan Reid dropped his latest mock draft on Wednesday, and does have the Broncos picking a QB. In fact, it’s the guy who just won the national championship in Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy.
NEW: ESPN's latest NFL Mock Draft has 4 QBs going in the first round👀
1. Caleb Williams – Bears
2. Drake Maye – Commanders
3. Jayden Daniels – Patriots
12. JJ McCarthy – Broncos
— On3 (@On3sports) January 10, 2024
“The Broncos might sign an experienced veteran, but McCarthy has some traits we’ve seen Payton gravitate toward in the past: The Wolverines star is an instinctive and accurate passer who makes plays to win games. He has really good ball placement, hitting 72.3% of his throws this season,” Reid writes in his piece.
A QB Payton wants is going to be key. Wilson threw a lot of touchdowns this season, 26 in just 15 games, but he and Payton never meshed. The meltdown on the sidelines where Payton screamed at Wilson seemed to be the final straw.
McCarthy was simply pedestrian in the national title game, completing 10-18 passes for 140 yards and zero touchdowns. He didn’t throw an interception, but the ground game carried the Wolverines with four total touchdowns.
On the season, McCarthy threw for nearly 3,000 yards to go along with 22 TDs and just four picks. Michigan finished a perfect 15-0.
Who are the Broncos taking at No. 12? Get all the latest mock drafts here!
It’s interesting to see Reid have four quarterbacks go Round 1, with three in the top-3 and then McCarthy at No. 12 to Denver. He doesn’t see Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. or Oregon’s Bo Nix as first-round talents right now.
We’ll see how it all shakes out come the end of April, but buckle up, because this the latest of hundreds of mock drafts that will drop between now and then.